Rave On

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.

purple clouds 
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. 

double dare
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.  

howling wind
a wounded deer 
crosses my path

Failed Haiku A Journal of English Senryu

November 2021

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