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Archive: American Haibun & Haiga Volume 2

[Return to Author List, Vol 2 ]

Stanford M. Forrester



New Year’s Eve

It was New Year’s Eve and that meant that I had been in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer for over a year now. The town I lived in was only a few kilometers away, but I knew that I needed to pick up the pace to get back before it got really dark. Along the side of the road I passed some farmers’ children. They were playing hide and go seek, laughing and calling to each other as they ran between the eucalyptus. They were so enthralled in their game, I walked by them unnoticed. As I kept walking, I had a feeling that the mountains were slowly growing taller and the pine was thickening. After a few minutes the road was no longer a road. It became a path, a path I  was the only one on and the only sound I heard was a few crickets chirping in the long esparto grass.

New Year’s Eve—
even the crickets
celebrate with a song

Coming closer to town, I was surprised to see three festive young  men standing in the middle of the path drinking and telling jokes. They were all dressed in red and each of them wore a devil’s mask.  They asked me if I wanted a drink and then told me that this was a roadblock. If I paid the devil’s toll, they said, I would be allowed to leave all my sins behind and pass into the New Year with  a  clean slate. So I dropped all my change into their bucket and went on my way home.

stars falling into
this evening sky—
festival lights

[Return to Author List, Vol 2 ]


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