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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016

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Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Moving On

My last day at work. Files dumped into recycle bins; books sent to the library; the computer erased, desktop photos swept into a box.

The plants have not fared well. Into the wastebasket go the remains of the Crown of Thorns—a friend’s gift when I took over as Department Chair. It likely died during one of those interminable meetings where egos reign and little is accomplished.

There are a number of teaching awards. On occasion I run into a middle-aged stranger who holds out a hand and says, “You probably don’t remember me, but I had you for a class when I was at university.” I’m touched by these unexpected meetings and manage to mumble something like, “Good to hear that you enjoyed the course.”

Mementoes cover one wall. A cartoon drawn by an artist friend shows humans and animals at a round table. Ah, those heady days when I thought environmental issues could be solved by bringing all the parties together: oil men, foresters, ranchers, indigenous peoples, hunters, environmentalists. One new park and a hundred failures.

I take down a photo of my wife and two young daughters smiling with arms entwined. The ensuing teen years and drugs wreaked considerable damage. Perhaps they will once again embrace each another, if not me.

I look out the window, the sun bright on spring's greenery, a jingle of RV keys in my pocket, the fishing gear packed.

a long winter—
how quickly will
the snow melt?


Editor's Note: Previously published in Simply Haiku.

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