Mochi

Mochi Cafe

the rabbits are pounding rice
into mochi
on the moon

and in the little statue
outside the cafe
surrounded by flooded rice fields

we order by the picture
and are not disappointed
in what arrives, steaming, in tiny cakes, chrysanthemum bowls,

or floating in broth.
For some reason
I promised myself

I wouldn’t buy
much of anything
in the way of souvenirs

then find myself
looking in the long narrow mirror
in an exquisite silk robe

mostly black, then
patchworked
out of old kimono

in which I look
so exactly like—or even so much more like—
myself

out comes my billfold
of yen, and I buy
not just that but a reversible farmer’s hat

I’m set now
to wear this day’s memory
pulled around me

or in woven ikat
to shield my eyes
from the sun of other places, other seasons

waiting outside
with my shopping bag
I watch egrets take off and land

out of the irrigation ditches
and I bow to something shimmering
just out of sight.