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

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David Giacalone


Silly Woman

due date
we hug
on an angle

Such a silly woman. I just had to change my dress before he drove baby-and-me to the hospital. As if maternity nurses never saw hemorrhaging or a bloody skirt. "I'll be right back, Dear," I promised, as I stepped off the curb and hurried to the house. Never said how dizzy I felt.

Such a silly man. Herbert did a little eye-roll, but didn't argue with a woman going into labor. When I collapsed onto the street behind our old car, he saw that gray Buick sedan passing by--with the license number he got almost right--and thought "hit-'n'-run." Over and over, he yelled "Call 911! Call 911!" to everyone, and no one, his tears wetting my face.

Silly police. Hours of roadblocks and interviews. On the tv news, neighbors are outraged over a "black driver" who would knock down a full-term, pregnant woman and keep on going. All the neighbors say I was "a very nice woman."

Silly Medical Examiner. It took him a day to figure it out. "The cause of death was not consistent with injuries being struck by a motor vehicle," said Amsterdam Chief Thomas Brownall. I fell backwards at the same time the vehicle was going by. "Fell backwards, struck her head and died of those injuries."

Such a silly mother: They did a C-section, but my baby was dead. They examined the gray car and it never hit any body. When I got to the hospital, my clothes had more rusty splotches. I can hear my mother wailing in Uganda. Such a silly woman.

midnight fire alarm–
stumbling toward
the wedding album

Based on a true story: "Amsterdam Woman's Death Not Caused by Hit and Run," WNYT.com, Albany, NY, May 27, 2006]