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

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w f owen, USA

 

clothesline

in the backyard, strung like half-cooked spaghetti between rusted poles, i return. semi-stiff and bleached white, holding and being held, the connective tissue of families, neighbors. from the despair of rolling blackouts, baking in longer days. casting broken shadows on a wilted lawn like mercator lines on an antique globe. artificially carving the land—joining it. these towels are my flags. white, striped, faded and new. raised and pinned by early light to a reveille of sparrows, lowered at dusk by mourning doves. i am a throwback to decades before homeowner associations. archaic, like five-cent coke in hourglass bottles. ten-cent movies, with all-day suckers, real buttered popcorn and giant dill pickles. a time when newspapers were only black and white.

longest day
a boy plays
in the towel's shadow

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