koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018

Jo Balistreri
Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA


My grandparents crashed with the stock market on Black Friday. He owned an automobile agency but couldn’t bear to call up his customers' loans. When the banks failed, he was left with a trunk of paper promises and suffered a nervous breakdown. He found relief in a jug of wine.

The trunk of I.O.U.s moved with them from North Dakota to Duluth, Minnesota, where they stayed with relatives. When Grandma and Grandpa finally bought their own home, his trunk and a gramophone, Voice of the Master, were moved to the basement. We played store with the paper money, and listened to Caruso on the scratchy red labels. We danced, tried to mimic the Italian words and sing along. When we grew tired, we made airplanes from that useless money.

wheat left
too long in the field
meager harvest



| contents page | next haibun |

koi sidebar r