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Contemporary Haibun Online: January 2015, vol 10 no 4

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Tricia Knoll

Wiping Up for Moving Out

I wipe cabinet shelves with a damp rag, mop up bits of faded rosemary and dry parsley. Hand you the scallop shell nightlight. Find a forgotten Swiss Army knife with a corkscrew in a mildewed leather holster that would be his, the man before you. A flat refrigerator magnet says Wisconsin, a tenant's. Stuff the seashore bird books in a cardboard stereo box. Sniff the olive oil, how old is gone? Save the rusted pruning shears. Wonder if the new owners will regulate the pink climbing rose or let its thorns grab their sweaters. I hope they like blue. The robin-egg blue garage, new Yale blue carpeting. A rivulet of groundwater from the sump pump flows down the gutter toward the corner of Carmel and Beeswax.

You cushion in bubble wrap the print of the mother whale lifting up her baby. I swaddle in a gray towel that Japanese woodblock of a tsunami wave curling under a peach sunset. We toss the surge protector into a Hood River apple box beside the stack of plastic blue and white Chinese restaurant plates and bowls my daughter wants. Pack the car. Separate out five keys for the realtors. Call our dog.

I think the tide is ebbing. My back is to the window; I do not turn to check. We're heading up, around the mountain.

the monarch kite
dips in sultry winds
reeling in