A blue purse on a fire-escape!
In this country it's a custom.
Finding some lost property,
a ring, or this blue purse here,
considerately someone
will place it in full view nearby
on a wall, a window sill.

Everywhere you notice them
precariously balanced
on arm-rests of commuter trains
or a bridge's curving parapet,
some person's pocket book, a diary
- these mementos patiently
awaiting whose return?

Seen from tiered expressway lanes
or the shinkansen tracks,
misplaced items interrupt skylines.
It's Liberty with her torch upraised,
a Bavarian castle: love hotels
are something missing floated clear
of flats and close-packed houses.

As the rush-hour services clatter
through residential districts
on balconies washed sheets flutter,
whole conurbations of them;
in entryways, a clutter
of bikes, umbrellas, shoes has found
some means of coming home.

Leaving a local station platform
under white sky filled with heat,
a memory, loved one, or poem
has been left behind. But what?
Wordless in front of the next
lost property office's window
you find yourself looking perplexed.

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