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

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Christopher Patchel

 

First Love

She was a horticulture major. A girl-next-door type with unstyled blonde hair and bitten nails who went braless and wore hiking boots. She drove a green Volkswagen Beetle and was nicknamed Itty for her own petite size, which she more than made up for with energy and heart. We shared nature outings, rock concerts, church services, brushes with the law. While at separate colleges she wrote long letters and often made the four hour drive to visit me. What more did I want.

a wicker basket
once filled
with wildflowers


 

Editor Bruce Ross comments:

I know this girl. Christopher’s haibun is filled with heart. Many of us have had this experience of first love. I remember following my first love, Rita, home from public school and hiding behind a tree to watch her enter her house. The description of Itty and life with Itty is simply stated but instantly recognizable as to its embedded feeling. The link and haiku make this haibun while tearing at our own hearts. The last sentence ("What more did I want") read with the linked haiku opens up the mystery of love and memory. That line in its deceptively casual statement broadens the impact of the haibun and our understanding of love. It is said, First thought, Best thought, and Christopher’s love guides his haibun. Am I bothered by the lack of “poetic” prose? Not much. Am I bothered by the long-short-long haiku, more a two-liner? Not much. Christopher’s heart makes up for any of these issues.

 

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