Best Fortune

Dusk colours the uneven stairs.
I stand on the wooden steps and look around,
the distant sea hidden
behind ancient, towering trees.

I imagine waves
moving fishermen’s boats,
the smell of salmon and tuna
wrapped in seaweed.

Sushi restaurants abound
on the winding streets
of this port town,
tiny gems behind indigo curtains.

Now I climb
the steps two at a time.
At last, I reach the Shiogama Shrine
structures painted in crimson
disciples swing thick ropes,
ring copper bells.

I clap my hands
bend my head in prayer and
later follow the red hakama of a priestess,
fresh snowflakes powder
the hem of her swaying skirt.

White ribbons in her hands,
she ties them to a branch
gives them to the wind.

She helps me unfold my fate
and translates: Best fortune.

~ Sonia Saikaley

Sonia Saikaley has lived in Japan, where she taught English and found the solitude to write. She has also gotten lost in the alleys of Venice but found an amazing pizzeria. Now, in Ottawa, she finds herself surrounded by her big Lebanese family and amidst the chaos and joy, she writes. Her writing has been published in Still Point Arts Quarterly, Monday’s Poem, The Caterpillar Chronicles, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, the anthology Lavandería – A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Word, and other publications. She hopes someday to find a home for her poetry collection Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter.

Read more of Sonia Saikaley’s poetry:
The Island School
Foreigner’s Etiquette

2 Responses to “Best Fortune”

  1. BEAUTIFUL, Sonia

  2. Such rich, evocative imagery – I feel as if I had been there, too.

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