A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2009, vol 5 no 2

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Michael L. Kiella



We expected the storm, it arrived to bully things that flap and twist and tumble in the wind; we found morning fields and hedges in new snow and the blue sky which only cold can make.

winter wind
a crystal cyclone

A girl from two streets over came and shoveled the path. I don't really know what caused her to do this kindness without hire. I know her by name: Nicole, is it the cold on your face that helps you move my snowdrifts? If that is true, then I am thankful for cold and snowdrifts, both.

Near the house, where the twisting of snow can't go, or won't go; where bare earth separates snowdrift from basement wall, I see a finch that won't fly. We look too long at each other. Did she come here to find me; and speak with black eyes? I saw her speak to me. I only think of this now in afternoon when I return to that place by the basement wall, it is there that I find my failure.

brown-grey finch
folded shuttlecock
volley unreturned

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