Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rice Husking

The husking booth
Is a sauna in summer
My sweat beads on the brown bag
The last eight or nine kilos of rice
Sent from her uncle in Kyushu
His waving green fields
Far from this dirty city parking lot
Where I dump the brown kernels
Into the hopper and insert 100 yen
The booth shakes and chugs
While I batter a reggae drumbeat
On its sides so that no rice escapes
But all comes spilling back out
Into the empty brown sweat-stained bag
A sparrow comes to see the concert
Gets driven away by two hungry pigeons
Black eyes scanning for dropped kernels
Pure white polished rice, rice
Leaving sweet, nutritious nuka
For some neighborhood lady to come drain
From the machine into a container
Throw in cut carrots and daikon and cucumbers
To make cool pickles for her family
As I carry the bag of rice back to mine

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