< meta charset="UTF-8"> Haibun Today: A Haibun & Tanka Prose Journal

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

Volume 13, Number 4, December 2019

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Jo Balistreri
Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA

For my dad, Wayne A Horton, 1918-2013

On the Morning of My Father's Death

He asked me to open the shade he could no longer open for himself. Looking out the window he turned to me with a smile. Look at that yellow warbler in the mesquite. Isn't it beautiful? And the hummingbirds—Look, Jo, they're mating.

The radio was already playing Christmas music though it was a few days before Thanksgiving. Neither of us minded because we'd always said we had two seasons: Spring and Christmas. We ate breakfast together, toast and cereal, then the physical therapist knocked on the door. After the session, Dad said he wanted to rest in bed and listen to music. He fell asleep while Dean Martin sang Let It Snow. I lay my head next to his on the pillow, my arm across his chest. The radio was playing Angels We Have Heard on High. I recall the drawn-out melisma of the word Gloria. His chest rising, falling. His heartbeat . . .

saguaro –
in the desert sunset
shadows flicker