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Cherie Hunter Day

tucked in the corner
of a modern office park
bamboo shedding
that bit of tawny chaos
I’ve come to expect


along each grass stem
nodes swell purple–-sheathed in green
when a hand
caresses an entire field
why do we call it the wind?

my family
lost to one another
flung away
the small bag of his remains
emptied among stones

snipping sounds
echo through a million leaves
their elastic threads
the precision of cold metal
this autumn, every autumn

husk-like replicas
of grasshoppers left clinging
to the rockrose
pale and without appetites—
the woman I used to be

curved creek bed
channels new rainwater
the unseen incline
that my childhood
slipped away on
          Hummingbird XI: 3 (2000) 37

Cherie Hunter Day began writing tanka in 1993 after studying and writing haiku for more than twenty years. Her first published tanka appeared in Woodnotes 21 (1994) and Wind Five Folded (1994, AHA Books). She won Tanka Splendor Awards in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2003. In 2003 the Nihon Kaijin Club (The Japan Tanka Poets' Society) awarded her tanka first prize in the 4th International Tanka Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. She is the author of one chapbook, Sun, Moon, Mother, Father (1997) and the award winning full-length collection, Early Indigo (2000, Snapshot Press). The Haiku Society of America awarded Early Indigo the Merit Book Award honorable mention for tanka in 2001. Her work has been anthologized in: In the Ship's Wake (2001, Iron Press), How to Haiku (2002, Tuttle), and The Tanka Anthology (2003, Red Moon Press). 

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