Hands together above my head, I spear the water with a slap.
Salty surf stirred by the waves hits the rocks with a slap.
The spring sings with crickets at night and birds at morning.
But in winter’s mourning, silence is like a slap.
My mother loved me fiercely, like a lone lioness.
Her claws dig deep into my skin with every slap.
In the emperor’s race, the rat and the cat were comrades.
But the rat knocked the cat into the river to win with a slap.
A feather dancing with black feet, tripping over parchment
knows the sting of bad footwork like a slap.