haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2005, vol 1 no 1

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Dejah Thoris Léger, USA

Still Life, Part I (3)

In a chocolate box beneath my bed I found several pictures belonging to my grandfather. One photo was of him and his Waco biplane, with the name "Tin Goose" written in shiny paint along the side. He stood in a grassy Ohio field that stretched for miles, joining the wide sky like a seam in the distance. Grandfather leaned his elbow against the wing of the plane. Even when he was young he looked old. His face was long and his smile was brief. The army uniform he was wearing looked too large for his frame. If the photographer had only waited a second longer to take the photo, my grandfather's smile might have been broader, perhaps a little more gentle. As it was, his features seemed as vacant as the flat, glossy landscape surrounding him.

The photo was taken the day before grandfather was to be stationed, on a breathless afternoon with a low, late autumn sun that cast shadows behind his feet. The day grandfather's photo was taken a whisper could have been heard for miles. The very click of the shutter was as loud as a gun being cocked.

quiet Thanksgiving-
the family receives
a letter

 


 

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