Haibun Today

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

Linda Jeannette Ward
Coinjock, North Carolina, USA


The Ungreening of America

a scent of reminiscence
drifts through
clutter I can't remove
like a twinge of heartache
buried beneath piles of stones

It's 1969, we talk of the future and how we'll exist in communes of shared work and gardens enough to feed the group we'll build houses of old cans and other discards as instructed by Whole Earth, preserving Nature for Herself.  Blake will teach the children . . . I can see him now: long silky blonde hair waving a shimmer over his shoulder with a toss of his head as he makes a point . . . he won't cut his hair he'll work jobs below his intellect first even when he's busted for pot and has to go to court, he wears a short blonde wig, compliments of his attorney.

We'll preserve all our own food, raise goats for milk, cheese and yogurt . . . wear jeans and tee shirts and chambray forever, swim in naked groups in a river we never pollute . . . it's a mass revolution against materialism  to have only a mattress, ten-speed bike and enough money to buy a lid we go braless, unshaven faces and legs . . . but now even the  tatooed conform, united in their nonconformity.

The one who never shaved hardly ever bathed builds a house of locally quarried stone hauled by contractors paid with his professor's check . . . the girl who called herself Rapunzel drives a luxury car to her hairdresser's so to maintain a fashionable length that wouldn't give purchase to a climbing mouse.

I carry out some of the dream, the Greening of America dream on a few treed acres, quit a secure job in exchange for setting my own poorly paid hours, but rejected by old friends who stop by to visit in new cars. The few who were comrades in the fields of flowers now view my life with the same disdain as our parents viewed what they saw as a temporary stage of rebellion.

oiled pelicans—
they tow their new jet ski
to a different beach


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