“Water Poem in Four Seasons”

Twenty-minute drive
And I’m at a sandy beach
But the strange water
Coldly laps at my ankles
And asks me how I got here

Trip to Lake Erie
My little ocean that could
Pollution, dead fish
Everything is frozen now
I’m the only one melting
No ocean in sight
Seven-hour drive, due east
Straight toward the coastline
I see when the sun comes up
That the map was upside down

The ocean outside
Wells up in the fuzzy air
Could I fill the lake
With two decades of water
Bottled somewhere far from here?

Noah Kawaguchi graduated in 2022 with a Jazz Studies major and an East Asian Studies minor. “Water Poem in Four Seasons,”written in 2022, is inspired by Kawaguchi’s experiences growing up Asian American here in Lorain County. Beginning with the Japanese tanka form of 31 syllables spread across five lines following a 5/7/5/7/7 pattern, he repeats it four times, once for each season.