A Stranger

A Stranger
 
In America
I can 
walkabout 
 
in anonymity, 
                                                
a person of little consequence—
 
not celebrated athlete,
nor foul-mouthed rapper,
nor extra handsome movie star.
 
But, turn me loose 
in rural Japan
and I become
 
an instant object of interest—
a steaming meteorite fallen from the sky—
 
causing murmurs of surprise,
 
“gaijin, gaijin, gaijin”
 
mothers pointing, whispering to their children,
 
and turned heads—
 
a foreigner, not of us—
 
an unwashed soybean in a cup of rice—
 
a white blemish not to be over-looked.
 
And there, for all to see, 
 
stranded, 
 
me, 
 
a tentative celebrity,
 
without a word of Japanese
 
in my pocket.  
Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com