A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Contents Page: March, 2010, vol 6 no 1


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Priscilla Van Valkenburgh

The Migration

Driving cross country on route 80 – a straight line. You can almost see yourself as a tiny speck moving across that multicolored map of the good 'ol US of A. From the road the states have their own colors too, red for the cliffs of Utah, dusty brown for the dirt moonscape of southwestern Wyoming, another brown, stockyard brown, for Nebraska, green for the trees of Iowa and Ohio, gray for the cities near the Great Lakes...

This trip entails enduring endless truck stops of varying degrees of cleanliness and non-stop fast food, along with the tedious search for a dog friendly motel which happens to be situated at a convenient location determined by your travel stamina that day. How many people have slept on this pillow?

There is, however, a temporary peaceful interlude. The towering western windmills, like slow, graceful birds, turn in formation to the nocturne on the radio. In the open prairie below these giants, slender pronghorn antelope graze contentedly in their white rumped suits.

When we finally reach the comfort of the classic white farms of the Mid-West we fantasize settling there with a barnyard of gentle animals, and lush gardens of vegetables. But we continue on route 80 at eighty miles per hour.

Our destination? The green spruces and rocky shores of Maine, which, once the rain stops and the fog lifts, remind us of why we braved the treacheries and disappointments of three thousand miles.

"Jams for Sale"
the Amish buggy
next to the highway

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