I realized I had a bunch of poems lying around, so I subd them, and The Sandy River Review picked up “Sakoku” in a couple of days.

The title is the Japanese term for “locked country” and means, politically, “the isolationist foreign policy of the Japanese Tokugawa shogunate under which, for a period of 264 years during the Edo period (from 1603 to 1868), relations and trade between Japan and other countries were severely limited, and nearly all foreign nationals were barred from entering Japan, while common Japanese people were kept from leaving the country,” according to Wikipedia. I was inspired by its emotional resonance.