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Motomaro Senge 233  Motomaro Senge (1888–1948) Tangerines, My Boy, and Me My boy went and got two tangerines. He gave one to me and is peeling the other for himself. Wordlessly we sit across from each other, hibachi between us. I look at the tangerine in my hand. I am startled at its beauty. A beauty that is uncanny. Beautiful no matter where I put it. I put it on the desk and look at it; I put it in the palm of my hand and look. I am coupled with the fruit wherever I set it. It’s as beautiful as if plucked this instant from an unseen bough. Shining and fading into darkness, the lamplight in the impenetrable night is incomplete, nothing more than a childish trick. I furtively steal a glance at my boy. Head down, he is silently peeling his tangerine, all thumbs. I see a tangerine peeping out from inside his kimono. It’s as though I’ve discovered the secret of a magic trick. I’ll bet he’s got a lot of them! The Soy Mash Vendor The soy mash vendor, baby tied to her back, goes through the predawn city streets singing like a bird, marvelously fast of foot, asking for orders here, then there, and greets all with good cheer, 234 Japanese wending her way from neighborhood to neighborhood, cleansing the air as she goes. Quick as a bird and as elusive, she flits along singing; I love that voice. I love the sight of her. Lawrence Rogers, 2009 ...


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