A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2006, vol 2 no 3

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Hortensia Anderson


She never colours in the lines, this fragile child of eight. She doesn't even stay on the page, her blue crayon has gone over the edge and onto the kitchen tiles.

"We had such high hopes for all the girls," her mother, my friend, says "but then they told us about Claire ..." It is a refrain, these words that serve as an apology or an explanation or rarely, a complaint about her "odd" child.

She is a patient woman, my friend, and I know how she worries about her third child, youngest and smallest of the triplets, the one she knows least yet in a way loves most.

Perhaps it is a blessing, having escaped the "high hopes" her sisters will have to shoulder. Of being forced to stop at the lines.

clear blue sky --
sunlight pools and flows
into shadow