The Fresh Prince of Motomachi


This street
outside Motomachi Station
in Yokohama,
this is one of my favourite spots on earth.
{Sometimes I exaggerate
but this time I’m not.}

I did not take photos
of the moments that follow
{Sometimes I just want
to live inside a moment
free of iPhones and Instagram}
so you’ll have to imagine
that you were here
with me.

There’s this young guy
in a sleek black suit,
tapered trousers
and a super-cool hair cut.
J-pop style.

He’s riding a bike
and there’s a white plastic kid’s seat
on the back.

As he passes,
stylish black blur,
I wonder if
he feels less cool
now that the kid’s arrived
like he’s lost
his Fresh Prince mojo.

Then I imagine
his kid
who is probably adorable
{because Japanese kids
are the most gorgeous kids
in the world}
and I assume his kid is well-loved.

Then I’m thinking
about how happy
this guy must be
to be that kid’s father
and how he became an adult
the day that kid was born

and how
when we moved to Japan,
a few months after the triple disasters,
people were having pets,
fur babies,
not children
and pushing them in prams.

We wondered
where the children were.
A society without babies
is the stuff of science fiction.
The end of the world
as we know it.

And then a small white truck
scoots by,
turns right at the corner
and climbs the hill
carrying a cyprus tree
and a thousand white orchids.
A wedding
in the back
of a pick-up truck.

{if you’re watching}
is everywhere.


    1. Julia,

      Thanks for this lovely honour.
      I really appreciate your generosity and and I’m happy that the words we write reach each other across continents.


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