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

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Tish Davis



My turn to deliver altar flowers. I ask the nurse and get directed. The gladiolas are bountiful--a generous donation, yellow, so tall they extend well beyond the vase. The water rocks back and forth with the normal exuberance of my arrivals. So different this time. My first. The nurse didn't tell me. The yellow of her skin. Eyes wide open. She watches me without words. I tip the vase. Water all over the floor. Water dripping from the night table into invisible channels. On my knees forgetting to pray, mumbling something about the Lord. May He be with you. The water. It takes forever. The wastebasket so full. Neither of us cries.

in the reflection
of an empty chalice
turning fans