A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2008, vol 4 no 1

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Jim Kacian



My window overlooks the parking lot of the local high school. An old telephone pole sits right in the corner of the lot, just before the steps up to the main door. This pole, weathered and scarred, is hoary with the usual totems – anne loooooves dick, we're told, but whether by her friends or enemies isn't clear. A couple weeks ago, on an impulse, someone stuck a wad of gum, shiny and pink, on the pole on her way to class. In a couple of days it had turned dull and chalky white, but hadn't fallen off.

A week later someone else added a second wad, and others followed. Over the next few days, dozens of wads all different colors and sizes appeared. If they were fresh enough, you could make out the loops and whorls of thumbprints in each piece.

Three days ago a girl came by – I watched her – and shaped her lime-green wad into a stringy heart. Nothing has been added since.

on my Walkman
the Beatles are playing
in 1968