A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2006, vol 2 no 4

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Natalia L. Rudychev

The Smile and "Hello, Dear"

I've known her for as long as I can remember. We met almost every day but we both were too shy to introduce ourselves. For me her name was the smile and invariable "hello, dear". She was well advanced in years, slim, and tidy. Her clothes showed signs of wear but the overall impression was very pleasing. We talked only once when my Irish setter ran to her and insisted on smelling her pockets. She did not protest. She was worried and a little confused. She said, "Dear, I don't have any treats just some sunflower seeds". I explained that my dog was fond of sunflower seeds. She gave him a handful. While he was eating I could tell that she was happy because she could afford to treat somebody. I thanked her and we parted ways. Afterwards I could not stop smiling. Her happiness filled me with joy. I left for college a week later. This year somebody told me that she passed away.

the sky clears
rainbow bridges
two riverbanks