Before the Moonrise
He would track her, sometimes,
before the moon rose,
walking the paths she had wandered,
each meadow she stepped through,
marking the scent of each person
who wandered near,
or disturbed her.
He learned much,
how she brushed against the lilies,
was frightened by Daichi's dog,
how she would lay in the meadow on fine days,
no doubt just staring up at the sky,
or follow the old miko around on her errands,
or turn away when the village boys came too near.
She spent time with the slayer and her children,
the young miko and his brother,
but so often she was alone.
Sometimes, before the moon rose
and no one was there to see,
he would lay down in the place she had laid,
let the trace of scent wrap around him,
remember traveling day by day
with that scent always surrounding him.
He missed her singing,
and her scent,
and wished for time to pass more swiftly,
or he to forget.