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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017

Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Third Round

“We’d like to change the standard vows, you know, love, honor and obey, to something that feels more like us.”

The Justice of the Peace pauses a moment, then asks, “What do you have in mind?”

“How about, ‘We promise lots of cuddling with occasional bouts of lust, to care as much as we are able, to try to respect a different point of view without necessarily succeeding, and to limit our nagging, pouting, sulking and shouting as a means of remaking the other person into a perfect partner.’”

“Sounds very New Age,” the Justice says. "Anything else?"

“Let’s drop for better or worse until death do us part. We’ve both stuck with worse far too long and neither of us wants to live through that again.”

“And what would you suggest?”

“Maybe “We promise to give it an honest go and see what happens.’”

“I have a suggestion,” he says. “Why not just say 'I’m in' when I ask each of you whether you do?”

garden ceremony
an olive branch grafted
to the apple tree


The haibun is a revision of a haibun previously published in Multiverses.

In poker, the term "all-in" means that a player has put the last of their chips into the pot. When players are "all-in", they can’t bet again because they don't have any chips left.



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