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

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Christine Shook



My nephew drives me back to the city from my sister's house, his lean body lax against the car seat, one hand on the steering wheel the other in a bag of Swedish Fish. He wants to fly airplanes for a big airline but doesn't care if he has to pilot helicopters over the Delaware Water Gap because under the Orion star spread or over the plaited Jersey Shore he can swoop and soar unfettered. Knowing he never learned to read, I ask even idle over Coney Island and he laughs and says oh yes. Eventually we make a wrong turn and stop at Cleo's diner for coffee and lemon pie. I tell him I want to write the perfect poem and we dance a little to the juke box. In the parking lot I sneak a smoke while he asks for directions.

As cars pass
I long for home
tired of dreams
with this boy taller
than trees by the road