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A Journal of Haibun & Tanka Prose
Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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Joyce Joslin Lorenson

The Sharpshooter

Blood and guts on the kitchen table. Enough venison to feed the family for a few days. He was an excellent marksman, even before the war, even when a boy. He was most at home in the woods.

Cocooned in leafy camo belly crawling across the landscape of his forebears, within the constant barrage of bullets, bombs and mustard gas, his throat thickening with dust, he picks off another Nazi. He had always held it against the horse that bit him, leaving his ring finger at an unnatural angle, but after seeing how the horses suffer in this war, he forgives her.

Seasons have become a woody haze. No longer the sharpshooter, the hunter of velour horned bucks, he sits at his desk, smoking cigarette after cigarette, with one leg thrown over the arm of his chair, composing.

sunlight's clarity
I see myself
in grandfather's shadow


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