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July 2016, vol 12 no 2

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Winners: 2015 Jerry Kilbride Memorial Haibun Contest

Comments from Yvonne Cabalone

For the first time since the start of the Jerry Kilbride Memorial English-Language Haibun Contest, the Central Valley Haiku Club chose to select a subject matter. The focus for the 2015 contest was any favorite piece of clothing. The three haibun chosen reflect a wide range of passions and emotions. Margaret Chula chose an era in time that most of us can relate to – the age of free love. Her "Dusky Rose" reminds of our own romantic passages through life. Because we felt we had two equally strong second place haibun, the CVHC made the decision to award each author with a second place finish. Renee Owen chose to write poignantly about her mother and how her skin, toward the end of life, no longer fit. And how many of us, in one way or another, has done what Sidney Bending's uncle has done. His quietly comical piece about his uncle's shoes and a slip of forgetfulness brings to mind our own humanness.

Note: The Kilbride contest is open to the public. All entries must be in English. Details about the club and it's activities can be found on its Blog.

Dusky Rose – First Place Winner
by Margaret Chula

Twenty-five. My first summer in California. I worked three jobs to pay the rent – tutoring English at Sullivan Reading Center, waitressing at St. James Infirmary, and posing as a life model at a nearby college. I was on my own and happy. On weekends, I tie-dyed t-shirts with Rit dyes and sewed patchwork peace signs on my jeans. One night at the Laundromat, I found a full-length satin dressing gown that someone had left in the dryer. It was a soft shade of pink with a cascade of faded flowers. I tried it on. It was a perfect fit. I stood in the Laundromat under florescent lights imagining the luxurious feel of satin against naked skin – how I would stride around my room like Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep, cigarette in one hand, martini in the other. Without a second thought, I tucked the robe into my laundry basket beneath my threadbare sheets.

mid winter
my new lover hands me
a dusty rose

Under the Sea – Second Place Winner
by Renee Owen

Flesh clings to her bones, but just barely. In the last few days, only the Cuban caregiver can tempt her to eat. I call early, mid-day on their coast. Giselt reports, "Big mama ate three bites of a tomato sandwich." I ask to speak to my mother. Her voice nearly gone, she rasps hello. The effort saps her. She'd have to grow gills to survive. In her ocean kingdom, liquid fills one remaining lung, the levels rising, day by day, hour by hour. Until the high tide claims her.

new year moon
over sea-washed sand
fog for her shroud

Soft Shoe – Second Place Winner
by Sidney Bending

My uncle, in his eighties, walked halfway down West Edmonton Mall, one of the biggest malls in the world. Then he discovered that he'd put on only one black shoe. His left foot still wore a red plaid slipper by mistake. So, all the way back to his car – he limped.

heavy snow
the half-broken branch
held up by a crutch