Sai no Kawara, by MEH
Sai no Kawara
he’s known by the shimmer, the clatter
of six rings on his ruby staff. a warning
to disperse the demons surrounding travelers
too young to undertake the voyage across
the rocky river—away from the light
of their growing, of yellow futures.
he sees them, stranded on the shore
like thousands of sun-stroked starfish.
stillborns. abortions. the shaken. the suddenly
unexplained. these innocents, miscarried
from their rest, erect stone towers to atone
for the pain their absence built upon parents
and almost siblings. but he won’t leave them
comfortless, will not certify to Bodhi
until all hells are harrowed, all young souls
are saved. wrapped in his red cloak, he suffers
the little children to come onto him,
to take his hand, and be spirited away in faith
they shall see the kingdom.
MEH is Matthew E. Henry, a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet. His works are appearing or forthcoming in various publications, including The Ekphrastic Review, Bryant Literary Review, Ploughshares, Poetry East, The Radical Teacher, Rhino, Spillway, Tahoma Literary Review and 3Elements Literary Review. The author of Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag, 2020), MEH is an educator who received his MFA from Seattle Pacific University,
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