Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 3, September 2010

Dan Allawat
Miami Springs, Florida, USA


Walking at Night

After she left, I took to walking late at night when the streets of this coastal town fall quiet, save for the ominous hum of the occasional window air conditioner that occupies some of the tiny houses here and there. Some go without the air conditioner, or simply choose not to run them in these difficult times. In those houses occasionally a window will be open to the night and I may hear fragments of the late night news drifting toward me, and then falling behind me like a friend retreating into the gloom. I walk north, steadfast, always trying to veer slightly to the west when the cracked sidewalks and front yards allow—the grass damp underfoot, the streetlights casting my figure askew. I perceive this to be in the direction of North Carolina, in the direction of her.

Palm fronds
and summer moon
far off, a dog barks.

At some point, in order to stay on course, I’ll climb through a neighbor’s bougainvillea bush, crimson petals falling all around me like memories. I’ll kick a lone coconut out of my intended path if I have to, such is my early resolve; I try to work it out while I walk. Eventually though, usually after a couple of miles, when I can no longer smell the ocean behind me, I stop walking.  At that point I reflect on the hundreds of miles that still separate her and I. And so I turn and find my way back to the cracked and buckling sidewalks that lead me home, less determined perhaps, but moving that way nonetheless.







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