Junior High Dance (NaPoWriMo Day 5)

All semester he’d seen himself as a
shrub in the shadow of her willow tree,
so when he asked her to dance, with a frog
in his throat, his right hand clinging
to a belt loop, his left in a pocket, tapping, he was unable to
look at her face, but he stared at her hair—a
yellow the color of lemon, no, of ripe banana,
no, the color of the Capitol’s gold-leaf
dome in the glow of the nighttime lights—and
as she nodded, her hair was swinging
in time, then he too was swinging, then they two were swinging.


Today’s prompt came from napowrimo.net: Write a “golden shovel” poem. Full explanation is at the link. In short, the last word of each line in your poem comes from an existing poem, so if you read the last words only, you get the complete original poem. In this case I used a haiku written by Kikaku, a student of Basho, as translated by Harold Henderson in An Introduction to Haiku. According to Henderson, this haiku is considered to be Kikaku’s comment on human life:

A tree frog, clinging

to a banana leaf–

and swinging, swinging.