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

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Colin Barber



Each of us arrives at the dinner as potential suspects in a staged homicide. No one is exempt from suspicion. One character immediately hijacks the table that I'm sitting at with her peculiar personality. She introduces herself as a Wildlife Inspector, but for the rest of the night I quietly refer to her as "the bamboo lady", because of her incessant ramblings about bamboo. Her paranoia has convinced her that it's her responsibility to keep this invasive species from taking over the planet.

six inch stilettos
killing and killing
the cockroach

Although all of the clues appear to lead to someone else, I'm pulling for her to be the murderer. I write her name down on a piece of paper, fold it up, and drop it into a basket the host passes around the room. I'm certain that I'm wrong, but for some reason I cannot shake my desire to underestimate the obvious.

robin at the window
the old cat
licks her paws

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