It's late January—one of those rare, balmy days that occasionally happens in an Arkansas winter—and my mother and I have taken advantage of the break in weather to take a day trip to one of our favorite places.
We've been making the trek to this mountain town—together and individually—for almost three decades. Its Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets always captivate us, no matter the season. But winter—when it's quiet—without tourists—makes us feel this is our own private playground. Today, we've wandered through the few shops that are open; ambled through a woodland chapel; driven to the panoramic crest overlooking the surrounding valley. We're happy.
As we head west out of town, winter's light—the kind that's clear and golden and makes you want to testify—bathes us and the receding streets with more warmth as the sun begins to set. It's then that my mother, one eye to the future, says to me, "Perhaps you can live here." When I'm gone, she means, but she doesn't have to say more.
soapsuds . . .
mother tells me how
she'd like to die
Note: The haiku was previously published in The Heron's Nest 13:4, December 2011.