#Haibun: Bushido knows no gender

This piece is inspired by the driving rain of the past week, and an article I read about gender and Bushido.

 Their ragtag troop walks through the deep ravine, sharp rocks cutting through their feet, the rain drowning rivulets of blood down their legs and cloaks. They are starving. Only faith in their beloved leader keeps them walking.

At once they see him: a powerful Samurai knight standing immobile as a statue on his horse, his sword drawn, in front of them, barring the way. “Who’s your leader?” the knight asks, “bring him to me, now”. They hesitate.

“I won’t let you pass without seeing him, there, in front of me.”

In small steps, as in slow motion, their leader walks to the knight.

“Is it me you are calling for, my Lord?”

“O, really, this is too amusing”, says he, looking down at the slender woman and her grey cloak.

“My Lord, I am leading these poor people to the other valley.”

“No you won’t”, says he laughing, dismounting swiftly and approaching her, sword in hand.

“My Lord, I am asking for safe passage for this troop, they are hungry and exhausted”, says she, as he lifts his sword. She stands, immobile, rain running down her face, in front of the knight, towering above her.

“Would you stand against me, woman?” says he, still as ice.

“I won’t, my Lord, this will” says she, as she draws her short Wakizashi from under her cloak, and in a fluid gesture, so fast he does not react, disarms him.

The knight looks at his sword on the ground, smiles: “Your knife is too short to worry me, but you are brave, and the Way of the Sword has no quarrel with bravery”.

And the knight mounts his horse and leads them to the valley.

swords glitter in the rain –

believers hold their breath in hope

knights walk the sky

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