And she laid a pale wash,
over the figures,
like a layer of time,
as behind her through the open
door I stood and watched.
How Japanese eyes could
transform the irretrievable instant
when white paper and line
become celebrations of a mountain,
a bird, clouds, a branch of blossom,
moths about a solitary lantern.
Turning to the light and with
gentle dancing hands she
invites me in to see the painting
but I have long since gone.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll return to
these moments that last forever.