A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2009, vol 5 no 3

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Victor Maddalena


First Snow

“Tomorrow it is going to snow,” my father said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

Father and I walk hand in hand through the stubble of the hay fields to the top of the hill beside the house. The night air is crisp and fresh, a welcome reprieve from the warm air of the house. I savour the sound of my boots crunching ice that had formed over the puddles carved deep from wagon wheels hauling crates of apples from the orchard to the barn.

“There,” my father said, drawing a large circle with his arm around the pasty gray light of the full moon. “See the ring around the Moon?”

“Yes,” I whispered. It was beautiful. An iridescent ring of ice crystals hung like a halo over the hill on which we stood.

In the distance an owl hooted and filled the night air with a closeness that binds a father and a son, the Moon and its ring, the stillness and the cold, the forest and the sleeping animals. I felt a shiver run through my bones.

I held my breath hoping somehow to make this moment last forever, to be carved deep into my memory, like a beautiful dream, never to be forgotten.

Silence fills the air
Deer in the orchard lay still
Calm before the storm

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