Rice Grower: A Song for Inari

Over the ridge
The air rises from the valley
Scrubbed in cornflower blue
Wet paddies pulsing
With new shoots; farmers
Still marveling at fox markings
While kitsune ride the clever moon

Once, I would have slid
Down the mountain, tall and stately
Ringed round by orange silk
Fushimi-ku nestled in the foothills
Here, the butte makes me laugh
All squat like a badger hunkered
To ground; the farmers still
Gawking at paw prints

Foxfire birthed by rotting logs
Makes these country women wilt
No chance for rutting, spraying
Scent and sharp yips
Farmers still straggling with sharp eyes,
Disheveled hair; their wives
In the furrows a proper yield

[Alicia Cole lives in Lawrenceville, GA, with a photographer, their cat Hatshepsut, and two schools of fish.  She enjoys birdwatching, divination, and listening to the wind.  Her fiction and poetry have appeared in multiple print and online journals, most recently or forthcoming in Paper Crow, Star*LineGoblin Fruit, Abyss & Apex and Aoife’s Kiss.  She keeps a journal.]

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