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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014


John Zheng
Itta Bena, Mississippi, USA


Parc de Montsouris, Paris. In front of a miniature stage, children watch a puppet show, their eyes open wide. When the evil dragon is to be slain, there's a stir of sound—one girl shrieks a string of "ahhh's," another muffles her mouth with small shaking hands, a big boy stretches his arm shouting "Slay it!" and a smaller boy stops his ears.

I'm the boy stopping his ears as grandma tells me the tale of the headless horseman at bedtime. I remember shivering and pulling the blanket over my face.

deep autumn
in front of the shack
a scarecrow

ghost story—
the silence
of night

Author's Note: This ekphrastic haibun is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph "Reaction."



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