Haiku to the Lady in the Elevator


Taking the elevator up one floor to ticketing at San Francisco Airport a Japanese family trio first crowded to the head of the line and then, led by the matron, muscled their way from the back of the elevator and over my wheelchair pedals to get out before the remaining six of us.

Once in the clear, she sauntered away, arm-in-arm with her daughter, in no hurry to reach the about-to-depart airplane that we all were certain motivated such a brilliantly executed defensive tackle's rush.

Watching her the muse of Haiku overtook me.

Flower of Nihonjin womanhood, please accept this package from a stranger in the airport:

Cherry Blossom Slapdown

Kuso, Sakuda
Come to play sumo?
Late Spring cherry blossom crushed under wheelchair tire

I won't offer you a direct translation of the word "kuso" although I will give you a hint that it figures prominently in the Zen Master Joshu's answer to the question, "To be holy - what is it like?" found here.

Sakuda (Japan's famous cherry blossoms) can also be a woman's name - or, as Catherine Bergman reports, the ultimate insult not to be mentioned in front of royalty.

My elevator companion, "Sakuda" in the poem, carried herself as royalty. Perhaps she was also a Zen master?

She has given me pause to meditate on the dailiness of enlightenment.

Domo arigato, Sensei.

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