A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Doreen King

One Night

The path is a snake slithering into freezing fog. There is the half moon coconut mat, the red paint-work, the polished brass lock. It is very late. The sharp wind causes the key to burn my hand, reminding me that I should have worn gloves. We tumble into the hallway, giggling, as it begins to snow. 'Sssssssssh don't wake Mark.' I have to tell him about my fourteen-year-old who has a weak heart.

The kitchen is a little tired, a little shabby, but it is clean and honest. A window needs closing. I lower the roller blind and shut out the tiny millipede on the corner of the window ledge, and we creep about making supper together. There are all the usual movements such as the cupboard being opened and shut and the kettle being filled; and they are done now as if they should always be done this way. It is snowing heavily by the time he leaves and it seems to be laying in a beautiful way. I could stay up for the rest of the night, thinking about the blind date–the show, the dinner, his good company, and the way he smiled and laughed but I have to get up early for work.

night-time snow
laying or not the sparrow
settles back down

Tonight the world looks different. Tomorrow it will all be gone.