Cherry Blossom Reverie
On Hearing Keiko Abe Play the Marimba
As mallets frolic, leap and fall
and blur into a cloud of flowers,
the rosewood fills the spacious hall
with dazzling white sakura showers
borne from the tree we picnicked under,
all our minutes, all our hours
passing like this tuneful wonder
quickening my memory
and, wild as taiko-drumming-thunder,
we danced beneath that floral tree
that shook the garlands from its hair.
That night I dreamed a glorious sea
of petals washed ashore, the air,
the land, our very souls in thrall
to blossoms blowing everywhere.
I see you whirling in the squall,
as mallets frolic, leap and fall.
by Martin J. Elster
Editor’s Note: This terza rima is particularly apt—the flourishes and acrobatics Ms. Keiko Abe uses as she plays the marimba are perfectly suited to the form’s interlocking rhyme scheme.