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

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Yvonne Cabalona


Autumn . . . it's my favorite time of the year. Maybe I'm anal retentive, maybe a bit OCD; perhaps it's just the idea of bringing order to chaos but whatever it is, I love sweeping those leaves. Rushing home after work, I trade my skirt and heels in for a pair of jeans and old cross trainers. Grabbing the broom, I realize I have two days of fallen leaves in front of me. I start sweeping as purple infuses the pink-banded sky and 8-to-5'ers pull into driveways. Light spills from house windows where earlier sunlight flooded through. Our porch light doesn't project illumination that far onto the lawn, but it doesn't matter. I have the moon. Silhouetted leaves fly as I brandish my broom. Light as air at first, I feel the weight of them in my arms as they're heaped on top of each other. In the darkness, the shadowy figure of my black cat pounces onto the growing mound. His resultant action snaps, crackles, pops. Pausing in my activity, I hear a jetliner dragging its sound behind it. I scan the sky for moving lights but my eyes focus on the stars instead, Orion's Belt here, the Big Dipper there. An owl's whooing intones from another tree. It's unseasonably warm; no fog forms when I huff into the air. A light breeze stirs the leaves as I turn back to my task, their dryness scrabbling on the roadway. Inwardly, I begin the transition.

autumn twilight
my unexplained longing
in an owl's call