haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2007, vol 3 no 4

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Tish Davis

 

still a tree

I type in the pass code and we enter the hallway. The sound of memories silenced, only a gum-chewing aide next to the tv. With the Chihuahua under my arm two shoes searching room to room. Even the name on his door is small. We almost miss him. In bed facing the autumn leaves an awkward curl, somehow fetal. Expressionless both of us.

The dog wiggles. "Sir would you like to see the dog? I have a little dog here with me."

Instead of looking he tilts his head way back. Is he blind? One eye out of place. The shape of his mouth changing . Not even a word stuck up against the pallet. The emptiness of a black hole surrounded by an old man's teeth. The bed alarm. The dog doesn't flinch. I have learned how to reconnect these things. Gently our hands meeting. Opening his fingers one by one. The sense of touch. It changes everything.

painting on the wall
even without the leaves
it is still a tree