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

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Lisa Timpf

 

Mickey

Now and then memory flips me back forty years to a gray spring day and I am eight years old again, running down the laneway on the neighbour’s farm.  The richly brown furrows in the fields hold the odd bit of snow here and there, and it is these patches that make my task more difficult.  For each time my eye catches a splash of white, my heart jumps, until I recognize that it is not Mickey.  I am harboring a fantasy that instead of taking my little sick dog to be “put down”, my brother has hidden her away somewhere.  If only I can find her, I will be able to smuggle food to her and nurse her until she is well again.  And so I begin to run through the fields, calling her name, stumbling now and then over a mound of earth; dirt on the knees of my faded straight-leg blue jeans.  Once, I cry out when I see a moving flash, but it is only a wayward piece of paper caught by the spring breeze.  My fantasy loses strength as the minutes tick away.  Still, when I turn for home, I look over my shoulder now and then hoping to see a small black and white form streaking across a field, as if it has all been nothing more than a bad dream.

Springtime twilight—
Wind against my cheek
Instead of whiskers.