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of a long happy faithful marriage.
They stand upon the beach (she holding
her rush broom, he his bamboo rake) fi xed
in fear and astonishment at their situation:
over them juts a tough and crooked branch with
the orderly, stopped explosion of its needles.
The child Kintoro, in build a
sumo wrestler in miniature,
(grown up he'll be the famous
samurai, Kintoki) leans forward,
hands on knees, eyes fi xed on
a hare and a monkey just now
coming to grips at wrestling.
Kintoro is umpire. The moon
has edged itself out from behind
Kintoki Mountain to watch.
It is also illuminating, where
they lie undamaged on the ground
between Kintoro and the wrestlers,
two magnifi cent ripe persimmons --
there for the taking, so
intent upon the contest are the hare
and monkey, and Kintoro, moon, and we ourselves.
Flooded with moonlight the bald
round head and round bare belly
of this deity of good fortune
Hotei where he sits half turning
to glance upward and show us
how a fi nger pointing at the moon
is not the moon.