The woman arrives at our shelter with two large suitcases and one very small towheaded boy. No bruises are visible, but she limps slightly while climbing the steps.
Five minutes after I get them settled in, the boy wanders into the living room and plops down on the battered green couch next to a girl with her arm in a sling. She silently hands him a licorice rope, never turning from the glow of the television.
Before long, the boy's mother slips into my office. "Do you know a place where I can get some decent money for this?" she asks, tugging at her gold band.
starlings in flight—
on barred windows
An earlier version of this haibun was previously published in Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose, #2, page 141, 2009.