Fronds bend to be touched
by the young girl in the red hat
who strokes them like the silk fur
of a contented cat arching
against her leg. This is not

a museum. No label lectures
Cryptomeria Japonica. No sign
warns Keep Off. This personal garden,
off a dirt road, on an island
off another island, is tended
for touching. The girl
in the red hat gets this.

A wooden bridge bows up and over
the koi pond. Even lying
belly-down on the bridge,
the girl cannot reach
the snapping turtles. Her mother
knows this, holds the red hat,
and lets her stretch.