Petals


The Hospice tree in the mall is decorated with paper angels. I walk toward it, planning to add his name and share again in this annual celebration of life.
But a sudden heaviness overtakes me; I blink, and turn away. Numbly, I move through the mass of shoppers and brightly colored lights until I reach the exit doors.

night wind --
the cold
becomes me

Back in my small apartment, I run my fingers over our wedding photo... almost seven years since I touched his face that last time.
I make a cup of chamomile tea and go out to the balcony. Memories churning, I gaze at the stars, pulling his old sweater around me.

rose petals
between stones...
the weight of grey




Butterfly Hours


She was ten months old when I last saw her. Now, six years later,
I have only a few days to catch up, to connect with my granddaughter.
We blow bubbles, play mini-golf, toast marshmallows on a campfire,
and teach each other songs. My camera is always near.

waterpark
laughter spills
across the grass

The hours fly past, and I cling to the hope that she'll remember our time
together. Her parents are missionaries, heading out on another five-year
stint in a foreign land.
For months, I've been aware of the briefness of this visit. Yet I'm still not
prepared for the short distance between hello and goodbye.

empty road...
the shape of a hug
lingers




Strands of the Web


I still remember the telephone of my childhood; I'd hold that heavy receiver
to my ear and wait for the operator's "number please". At school I learned
how our voices moved along the wires strung from pole to pole.

Sixty years later, I'm exchanging thoughts with a poet in Australia. Typing
my words, I accept the fact that they'll appear on a screen in my friend's
house, far across the globe. But no one has been able to explain to me
exactly how they get from here to there.

winter stars
somewhere the sky
is blue




Pale Sunlight

I head for the hospital; trees are bare, the streets gritty. My neighbor
is in the psych ward. She recognizes me, but can't remember what
happened.
I don't tell her she overdosed on prescription meds. Or that her doctor
is worried about permanent brain damage.

She babbles about going outside. "The sunshine will make me better."
She's not allowed to visit the courtyard alone, so I agree to walk with her.

snowdrops --
the simplicity
of white




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Petals ~ Contemporary Haibun Online v3n1
Butterfly Hours ~ Simply Haiku v5n4
Strands of the Web ~ Stylus Poetry Journal 32
Pale Sunlight ~ Simply Haiku v7n2