The Sakura and I

A love poem based on a Japanese urban legend. It’s doing its job if it disturbs you.

“The sakura and I are lovers,
But that was not always so.
Once it was a shoot-ling,
And I a child long ago.

‘Twas my mother who planted the sakura,
And she loved it like her own.
I watched her destroy her body
To see the sakura full-grown.

Her obsession drove her wild,
‘Til she was insane with love.
She took a lover in the sakura,
Its branches in which were wove

White petals of fairy fragrance,
Elusive in all its wiles,
Like snow, it drifts softly while
The wind carries it for miles.

She died underneath the sakura,
Her blood staining the grass.
The roots drank up her spirit, her love:
The blood staining the grass.

Then it became my turn;
I blamed it not for death.
The sakura was an innocent tree,
It was my mother’s meth.

I regarded it as a sibling of mine,
Untouchable it was in white.
I was loathe to leave it standing there,
Loathe to leave it out of sight.

So I lay beneath the sakura,
Watching its petals sway.
I watched the sky, the color of slate,
And made a decision where I lay.

The sakura and I were lovers,
But that was long ago,
For I took my life as lovers do,
To help the sakura grow.

Now the sakura tree is pink,
And how lovely it is in spring;
The stately tree has grown so large,
And on it sways a child’s swing.

The sakura, I loved it so,
And my mother before me more;
Its petals seeped in sacrifice,
It stands a lonely paramour.”

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