HAIBUN

MAMMA TELLS ME

 

It’s not like the darkest night or the black wings of a crow. In the beginning it dawdled and crawled snail-like until I stood face to face with cords of wood, everywhere I turn, more cords of wood. I feel locked in, unable to run. Meals without color are dull, one flavor running into the next.

I sleep-walk arms outstretched to feel the halting vibrations of an upcoming wall. I’m aware of how often you slink away as I speak. I’m always counting steps. And yet, my fingertips have eyes. the wonder of a baby’s breath, your indelible voice, how I run in dreams, the soughing meadow grass, that wet pine scent, the magical melody of raindrops on my tongue, butterscotch pie, the warmth of the sun, wind chimes, the sweet juice of a mango, talking clocks, the tallness of time, the sound of your frown, longing for an embrace, your electric touch.

 

ground ink
poured in her eyes
fingertips
memorize the contours
of my face

 

Published CHO October 2017

 

 

BEDTIME WITH SADIE (1892-1972)
Long braids she unravels at bedtime, gray strands reaching all the way to her waist. The way she tilts her head back and inserts eye drops into both eyes at night. The way she unhooks her bra revealing a long jagged scar on her chest. The way she removes the hand stitched pad from one of her bra cups.

I slide over, lift the quilt to the crisp air and invite her to the warm side,
my feet fumbling for the skin of her legs. I sleep soundly until daybreak, when aromas of cinnamon toast and oatmeal waft up the stairs.

I am older now than she was then. I wish I could be with her again,
and tell her how she lives in me, her eyes, her breasts, her fearlessness.

 

before the wind
carries her away
I bury
my grandmother
under the lilac

 

Blithe Spirit August 2017

 

 

LONE COYOTE

 

At first light in Autumn it is common to awaken to gunshots. It’s
always hunting season somewhere, either for man or animal. To
some it’s survival. To some it’s sport.

a rusty sheen
on the oak leaves
hunters moon
the leg he drags
into the thicket

 

At dawn in early spring, a doe, her nose in the air, slowly emerges
from the thicket, lightly steps to a grassy place, sniffs and sniffs,
turns and dissolves back into the brush.

 

fawn hoofs
are all that remain—
coyotes
are always lurking
are always hungry

 

At dusk in early spring, a lone coyote with yellow eyes, stands at
the edge of the wood, coat matted, mouth slack, long tail hanging
down. He slinks away over the ridge.

 

loping rhythm
of a lone coyote
winter’s ribs
bedside—dad’s last words
‘there’s nothing left of me’

 

Contemporary Haibun on Line (CHO) July 2017

 

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