Yasuhiro Yotsumoto was born in Osaka, Japan in 1959 and grew up mostly in Hiroshima. His first book of poetry A Laughing Bug was published in 1991, followed by 8 more collections in Japan including Hijacking Logos (2010), Starboard of My Wife(2006), and Afternoon of Forbidden Words (2003), which won the prestigious Hagiwara Sakutaro Award. His poems have been translated into more than 15 languages, including 3 books published in Australia, Serbia, and Romania. Yasuhiro also writes essays, literary criticism, and translates poetry from English to Japanese. He is the editor of Poetry International Web – Japan http://japan.poetryinternational.org, and of a Japanese poetry magazine Beagle. 

It was either before I fell asleep
or just after I woke up that my wife said matter of factly
she had met my mother.
I only said “yes” but sure I knew

that my mother, dead for a quarter century,
would not travel all the way from her shore.
It must be my wife who set out,

walking across the field of dreams, climbing down the valley.

Her boldness, hidden under the apparent timidity, has not changed
at all since we first met – a quarter century ago.
She still jumps at the bang of a door,
yet is lured so easily by the sun and the wind, and
can dance without music.

But when the wind stops, it’s so deadly quiet here.
Over from the hilltop of a closed eyelid,
I see my wife walking back.
Her face smeared with dirt, her bare foot bleeding,
she holds to her chest silence which looks like a strange animal.