A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Ronald Koertge


I Like to Stay Home

On the west side of the house my neighbor Jim has put in some new leaded glass decorated with roses. Out front is the indiscreet Mexican sage. Around back are the savory garbage cans, savory anyway to the resident possum who usually wakes me up around two a.m. A little beyond is a clothesline. If it is hung with laundry, it's very pleasant to sit on the steps with one of the cats and watch the breeze move a blouse hung upside down like an acrobat. My friends go to Bangkok and the Black Forest, but I settle for my house and yard, a dozen amaryllis, green recycling bins, a possum to summon me back to this world from that one nobody understands. Last night I was outside in my white pajamas. Below the butter-colored moon, above crushed mint there was the nosey possum, so I told him to shoo, go home. I clapped my hands delicately like a lady at court applauding the harpsichord, and followed his tail around the corner. Jim had left a light on. His roses were beautiful and furious. They know they will never get to drop their petals on a blue runner like they do at my house.

That crow is so far
away, his usual rasp
now sounds contented

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