| Current Issue | Contents Page - This Issue | Editorial Staff | About This Journal | Submissions |
| Acceptance Criteria | Haibun Definitions | Articles | Archives | Search | Red Moon Press |

Contents Page: July 1, 2011, vol 7 no 2

[return to Contents Page]

Jeffrey Harpeng


The Belly Button Man

I'm getting her out of the bath. She's singing "Herumph went the little green frog one day." As I'm carrying her over my shoulder my shirt pulls up and she pokes me in the belly button.

So I put her down and explain some things. "Careful poking people in the belly button, you might let the air out of them and they'll deflate like a balloon. You know, if it wasn't for the Belly Button Man we'd all be flat as old balloons. The Belly Button Man is busier than Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy because he has to come every night. He puts his bicycle pump into our belly button and blows us up a bit each night. That's how kids grow up. You hardly eat anything and you keep getting bigger, don't you. People as they get older start to get leaky valves and that makes the Bicycle Pump Man's job harder. You've heard people say, I'm feeling a bit flat today. They need the knot in their belly button tightened. Some people hold their air, and end up with spare tyres. Just remember, be careful poking people in the belly button. You might let out too much air and there'll be real problems if nobody has got a bicycle pump. I don't think we've got one that would fit, so be careful, okay!"

She looks at me as I explain these facts of life to her. She looks at me, well maybe a little bit off to the side.

"It's all true, isn't it?"

She gives a weak nod, but is struggling against the spring in her neck that pulls her head sideways.

she pours me play tea
in a plastic cup      I sneak in
a drop of play rum


[return to Contents Page]