Haibun Today

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

Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA


Electromagnetic Waves

The antenna tower is twice as tall as the cottage, almost as high as the pines. Wires drape down the tower and fall like locks of loose hair. One wire is for the television while the other connects a motor to a switch that turns the antenna. I leave it pointing east where I pick up signals from Ottawa and Kingston. A third signal from Toronto comes and goes. It works best at night.

ragged shoreline
the ground not as true
as it once was

The tower is rusted now and unsafe to climb. I leave it alone. Tonight all three television channels are covering the same story. The young man that reporters are talking about reminds me of ones that I grew up with. He is the one who leads the conga line at the VFW dance. His car rumbles down the street and he flashes a big smile. A girl presses her head against his shoulder. He selects a song on the jukebox and everyone nods their approval. He sings “King of the Road” just like Roger Miller as he walks by the paper store. I know this man.

Daylight lingers. I watch children wave, soldiers stand at attention, and onlookers shed tears as his body makes its journey down the Highway of Heroes. By now, even on the shores of distant lakes or in farmhouses out on the rain-soaked prairie, most people know the 148th Canadian soldier has fallen. They know him by name.

summer breeze
we guess the limbs
winter will break


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