It is a bitter cold day in February and I foolishly leave the house without gloves. By the time I realize it, I have reached the corner where my friends are hanging out, and I have no desire to return home so I shove my hands in my pockets and forget about them.
a groundhog slips
on the ice
The sky darkens and I notice the wind biting my hands every time I take them out of my pockets. Finally, I get tired of the endless talk of Buddy Holly’s plane crash and I go home. Once inside the house, my hands begin to sting and burn. I am surprised to see how white they are. Stupidly, I run to the bathroom sink and plunge them into warm water. I scream in pain and eventually my mother comes.
her tongue sticks
to an icicle
My hands are red and swollen with blisters. The pain is excruciating and I can’t sleep. In the morning, a doctor is summoned to the house and he diagnoses chilblains.
guitar riff fingering the pain scale over the top
Eventually, my hands heal but the memory of that searing pain returns whenever it is cold. I never again forget my gloves.
A few years later, as a student nurse, I am assigned to the burn unit. I don an isolation gown and take elaborate precautions to protect my patient from infection. His chest, arms and hands are covered with burns.
a wounded deer
crosses my path
Failed Haiku A Journal of English Senryu
Vol 6 Issue 72