What Pom Poko Taught Me to Grieve

Polo shirts tucked into belted jeans. Unstained white sneakers. Vests. Robes. Spiky haircuts with frosted tips, and the boys who once queued at the barber to get them.

Whisper-lit cabins. Smoldering campfires. Ghost stories. The fear of ghost stories. Wet moss and pine needles and globular raindrops; tracing pawprints in an unmapped forest.

Folk songs like smoke, lost in the wind.

Doomed battles in winless wars. The necessity of transformation and the toll it takes.

Warning signs. Wilderness. Every point of no return. Every species gone extinct, bloodbathed in history.

All the fields I’ll never see – painted skies, impossible green.

Claire Noelle Sims (@ClaireNSims) is a working-class writer from Swindon in the UK. Her writing has appeared in the Origami Review, Blue Daisies Journal, Maenad Literary Journal, and other publications.

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