A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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Renee Owen


On the long train ride from Florida to Virginia, to spend the summer with Maw-Maw, I dump out her purse in search of treasure. I find a wad of crumpled dollar bills, a spidery black hairnet, her Elk's Lodge pass and a half-eaten roll of rainbow-colored Life Savers. A blue ribbon from the fair, a 50-cents off coupon for Piggley-Wiggley ice cream, scrunched up tissues, a buffalo-head nickel, one packet of tomato seeds, a tube of red lipstick, two punched train tickets, and three sticks of Juicy Fruit gum, one just waiting to be unwrapped. Blue bingo chips, four rubber bands, the torn halves of two movie tickets, a Dr. Pepper bottle cap, one brass key, a twenty dollar bill folded tight, and one chocolate tootsie roll pop, which I pocket, before turning over the tiny school picture. On the back, scrawled in red crayon, it says Love me.

the hieroglyphics
of rain-pocked sandstone—
has it been days
or decades
since her passing?

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