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

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Deb Baker

Parallel Sunsets

April twilight, small-town Georgia. Walking along, I listen to the evening shift change—only a few birds calling, more insects, then frogs, chirruping and peeping, their songs growing steadier as the light fades. Towards the end of the road, I notice the top edge of the sun slip below the pines on the opposite lakeshore. In that moment I'm back beside my grandpa on the screened porch of the old cottage, listening for the sound of the sun hitting the water just before bedtime. "If you're quiet enough, you'll hear it," he promised. Later, my brother and I would whisper in our bunk beds, with Lake Michigan's soft lapping lulling us to sleep, eventually. This evening, I am alone, listening to another latitude's end of day sounds, watching bats flit over houses in the pale sky, with the scent of wisteria leading me home.

a glimpse of lake
through loblolly pines
distant laughter