Haibun Today
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 4, December 2011



Melissa Allen
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

 

What Was His Is Mine

The desk I work at was once my father's desk. In my father's desk there are many drawers. In the drawer where I keep my passport, he kept his cigarette papers. In the drawer where I keep my secret chocolate, he kept his canceled checks. In the drawer where I keep my unfinished novel, he kept his very well-kept ledger books. In the drawer—the top drawer—where I keep everything else, he kept everything else. Throughout my childhood I opened this drawer regularly, to inspect its nearly unchanging contents.

subclinical
waiting for the rain
to start

There were pencil stubs in here, matchbooks, old business cards, and various office supplies that were more or less interesting. But what I was most drawn to was an old pair of glasses, black and squared-off: old-fashioned, discarded eyes that my father never looked through anymore. I sometimes took off my own glasses and looked through them for him. I didn't think the world looked much different through those old glasses, though. A little bit smaller, that's all, and a little bit farther away.

distant thunder
tobacco isn't what got him
in the end

end

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