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

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Ray Rasmussen


Judas Kiss

Saturday at the Farmer's Market. Shoppers drift through the produce and craft stands clutching their purchases. Near the door, five gray-haired women dressed in black stand in a line. Their sign reads "Women against Violence." I recognize Barbara Ann, a friend I've not seen for several years, in the line.

The sign doesn't say 'against male violence,' but, still, I feel targeted. My mind spins through scenes; the beatings she took prior to her divorce; TV shots of the slaughter in the middle east; my own vicarious enjoyment of the violence in sports, films and novels.

I approach her and say "Hi". She doesn't reply and I realize that it's a silent vigil. So, I open my arms for a hug.

chill wind
she offers her cheek
for my kiss

Reprinted from Frogpond