A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2008, vol 4 no 3

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Katrina Shepherd


March afternoon. She unbolts the garage door, goes inside the cold darkness, reaches for a long handled wooden brush propped amongst bundles of hoes, forks, spades, bamboo canes near an old chest of drawers, makes a slow, winding pathway through bags of compost, watering cans, swaying towers of flower pots, seed trays. Last winter's window panes are barely visible.

                                                            crushed wings
                                                            held in cobwebs
                                                            swept away

Puts on gardening gloves, turns to the darkest corner where the stored boxes are. Wipes away cobwebby dust, skeletal spiders, rips off brown masking tape, opens them all up one by one, fills black bin bags, throwing out household contents wrapped in last decade's newspaper. Teabags in a once-cherished caddy have turned to dust.

                                                            the bottom
                                                            of a rusty tea chest
                                                            first shaft of sunlight

Using the whole weight of her body, she gradually pivots the last cardboard box around. Glimpses slow movement on the outside. Soft sound, a rustle like autumn leaves.

                                                            peacock butterfly
                                                               heart beats

Leaves the garage behind. Sunshine. So much lighter now, so much clearer.

                                                            British Summer Time
                                                               new horizons
                                                             two butterflies rise

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