Distraction 101

I accompany my daughter to the surgical center in predawn darkness. My three year old grandson is scheduled for a procedure. He wants a drink of water, which is not allowed before anesthesia. He is very focused on his need for liquid. When we leave the house his mother points to the moon, still high in the sky. He asks, ” Mama, can we drive right under the moon?” “Sure, Bud,” says his mom. He stops asking for a drink, the unpleasantness of his thirst forgotten for the moment.

rock star
all eyes
turn to watch

Failed Haiku : A Journal of English Senryu

March 2017

Common Core

It’s the early 50’s. My mother walks me to school those first few months. There’s a sharp recollection of leaving her side to walk across the schoolyard to enter the building with other children. A feeling of being overwhelmed by ‘bigness.’ No looking back or crying for me, though. I want to learn about the world.

air raid drill
a tiny caterpillar curls up
under a leaf

Failed Haiku : A Journal of English Senryu

January 2017

Link

Fragment

She is riding on an old fashioned sleigh with a back and side bar to hold her in the seat. Icy air bites her cheeks. Her sister is positioned in front and she knows enough to hold on to her.

puppies
curled up together
winter sun

There is a roughness on her cold cheek – a scarf perhaps, or the back of the baby’s snowsuit. She closes her eyes against the light reflecting on snow.

comfort food
the smell of sleep
on an old blanket

Someone lifts her up and carries her into a blast of warm air as they enter the apartment. The stiff clothes are peeled from her body. Her aunt offers hugs and kisses.

tomato soup
the way love tastes
in a memory

 

Failed Haiku A Journal of English Senryu

November 2016

Link

Great Uncle

I am four or five. It is warm and the fragrance of the blooming privet hedge tickles my nose. Visiting Grandma, which happens often, she lives only blocks from our house, my mother’s Uncle Willie is at home when we arrive. He is old with a surprisingly full head of gray hair and a round, fat belly. He always makes us laugh and today he is taking my sister and me for an ice cream cone.

hopscotch
the soft feel of chalk
on my hands

As we set out on our stroll, Uncle Willie holds each of us by the hand. He is walking slowly and there is no reason for my short legs to hurry. As we amble, his grip tightens on our hands until we squeal with delight. We know the game. He will not stop squeezing until we say, ‘uncle.’ We play this game until we arrive at the soda fountain.

church bells
just the right amount
of music at noon

I try to eat my ice cream quickly, before it drips down my arm. It is a losing battle and Uncle Willie helps keep it from getting messy. I taste the cold sweetness of Butter Pecan and the crunch of the sugar cone. I laugh and lick and lick and laugh. He teaches us how to push the ice cream down into the cone. I finish my cone and begin our walk back. In spite of sticky fingers, he holds my hand tightly and I giggle once more.

midsummer
old elms fill the playground
with shade

Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu

August 2016