Translation from the Japanese


Shuntaro Tanikawa

Hi There

One of the trees in the big forest
called out, “Hi there,”
but none of the others answered,
except — in a kitchen far away
a cutting board fell from a shelf.

The sieve laughed at this;
the clay pot didn’t move,
but the butcher knife shivered, remembering
a slash at a girl’s finger last night.

The tree doesn’t know
how the knife got drunk
on that gush of blood.

(Translated from the Japanese by Yorifumi Yaguchi and William Stafford)