| Current Issue | About CHO | Editorial Staff & Guidelines | Submissions | Articles | Archives | Search |
July 2017, vol 13 no 2

| Contents This Issue | Next Haibun |

Glenn G. Coats


The children, a boy and a girl, stop by in the evening and ask if they can swing on the swings. My wife gets a washcloth, wipes the dust from their cheeks and arms. “You go on out back and play,” she says. “Swings are waiting.”

Bank sent a wrecker out for their car. They still have a truck but keep it hid behind the house. The wife walks the kids down to the main road every morning so they can catch the school bus. Never see the husband come or go and I’m not certain what he does all day.

My wife brings out cups of dry cereal for the children. We sit with them on the steps, listening and watching for birds. Kids are always hungry.

Their place was dark last night—black as coal. Power Company must have cut the electricity. They can’t stay much longer. The wife said something about being from Florida, a river with a glass bottomed boat. Says she knows how to catch fish and that she wants to go home. Good place for the children to grow up.

Kids are quiet, seem a bit lost. A goldfinch perches at the feeder, starts pecking at thistle. Girl’s eyes are wide. “Is that a canary?” she asks. “I saw one once at a pet store. Somebody must have set that one free.”

nothing left to put away dusk

the ones that need us bruised oranges