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Five Tankas

Walking along the green path with buds
in my ears, too engrossed in the morning news
to listen to the stillness of the garden.

           Don't need picket fences, brick wall,
           or razor wire. Our home's protected by
           prickly pear cactus and thorny bougainvillea.

My reckless shadow, landing on the twelve-lane
freeway down below this pedestrian bridge,
playing chicken with oncoming cars.

           Clicking through images downloaded
           from your camera. Those buskers haven't finished
           playing, and already they're in your archive.

In a few billion years Andromeda Galaxy
will collide with our Milky Way, but worlds
come to an end every day.

Harryette Mullen

Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary
Graywolf Press

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