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

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Zane Parks

Visiting Family in West Virginia

A good-looking, muscular young man in a football helmet. For him the helmet is a hateful thing. He wants it off, but lacks the understanding needed to unbuckle it. There is a makeshift dutch door that excludes access to the kitchen. Otherwise he has the run of the house. And run he does. But he doesn't unintentionally run into things. No more than you or I would. When he beats his head against the wall, you know he means it.

checking out
every nook and cranny
new puppy

After supper the dishes are cleared and we drink coffee. Hank lunges for the dining table and we grab our cups. Not just to prevent spills. Hank loves coffee. He'll snatch and down your cup lickety-split if you're not on guard.

waiting for
the fog to lift
morning tea

Now Uncle Junior holds Hank on his lap as a child. He takes off the helmet, speaks softly to him as a lover might. Words no one but Hank hears. He is calmed if only for a while. As we drive away, I wonder what my wife thinks. She talks of the love for Hank she saw in my uncle's eyes.

coal mining town
wet grimy streets
and a rainbow

This haibun appeared in Frogpond XXIX:2 (2006)