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

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Joanna Preston



Running barefoot across the frost. Reaching the barn, scrambling over the gate. The cuffs of my track pants glittering with crystals of ice, like stars. Like embers. Cobs of dried corn piled high in the back of the barn. The papery sound of the husks, torn off like gift wrappers. Two cobs for each of the house cows, Jenny, Fern, Dream, and Little Moo, leaning over the gate. Warm wet noses, steam rising. Their long, rough tongues curling across my hand.

Throw more cobs into the shucker. Heave the handle round, watch the kernels tumble down the chute into the bucket ringing like gold coins. Trot across to let the chooks out, bucket banging against my shins. A wave of feathers breaking to the corn I scatter in arcs around me.

hard frost
the egg I missed last night

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