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A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Archive: Contents of American Haibun & Haiga Volume 1

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Zinovy Vayman

Haibun for Borya

Borya is a nickname for Boris. After divorce he keeps his wife's last name, since it is a very Russian one. He works at the human resources office at the closed stock company. I visit him at his workplace. He takes me to their cafeteria and seats me at the modest table. The set tables I saw upon entering are for the top executives only.

On Sunday we join Moscow Tourist Club on its outing at the southern environs including Masailovo Ponds, monastery at Lukino and Gorki Leninskiye. We are led by a tour guide with the last name Ziedelberg.

In the subway Borya points to the marble wall glorifying the Great October Socialist Revolution and remarks that this station was built as Lenino. Now its name is Empressville. We laugh. Lenin had the Emperor and Empress shot but he was shot at too and died in Gorki.

We cross the circular highway over the bridge made as a tube from plexiglass. I think aloud how it can be easily vandalized, how in time the plexiglass will lose its transparency due to billions of scratches, and the birch trees and pine woods won't be visible anymore.

it is deep in me
and I am deep in it-
my rainy motherland

While talking we go deeper into the woods and ravines. Suddenly we find ourselves at a huge clearing with vegetable gardens, wooden shacks and many kinds of fences. On both sides hang ripe red raspberries.

I see them
after berry picking-
dreams of color

In no time I become the last one as people rush by.

I mumble something like we are getting lost, we are lagging behind to be heard by the two women from our group who eat berries from the bushes, too.

And we get lost.

I try to become a leader and ask these women to follow. But they walk in the opposite direction, crossing the ravine. I follow them descending by the steps carved right from the soft soil. We walk into the new subdivision with the private vegetable gardens. We ask a local woman how to find the Masailovo Ponds. She gives us directions, then tells us to leave. You are making our dogs mad.

But one woman has walked in the wrong direction already and the second one follows her not even saying a word to me.

I say aloud "I will try to find the group" quelling my panic.

And I walk by myself looking for the footprints of our group either in the dewy grass or on the slippery path:

wet road
it becomes
a boot-sucking mud

 


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