Remembering Sachiko Yoshihara

As a poet, I have always been lucky although I was too young back then to know it.
Sachiko Yoshihara, a pioneer Japanese feminist poet who founded La Mer magazine, came to one of my readings, which was at a small dark pub.
She sat so beautiful and proud at the bar.
And she shouted: “Get her a bourbon,” as soon as I finished reading one of my poems which had “Jack Daniels” in it.
“Your poetry is strong,” she told me, looking straight into my eyes. “You are strong.”
I was one of her kind, and I should never forget it or doubt it because Sachiko Yoshihara, who knows such things, having been there and done it first, is telling me that this is true.
She drank and drank at the bar, and later that night collapsed forward on to the counter, and fell asleep, all alone.
It’s too late now, but how I wish I had talked to her more, hugged her and told her how strong and beautiful she and her poetry were, and how lucky I was to be bestowed that praise from a poet like her.