< 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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Doris Lynch
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Nom de Plume

In an age of nicknames—Bird, Twiggy, The Geator with the Heater—she gives herself one that serves as a nom de plume, but true to character, tells no one. The expansive generosity of the opening “W” entices her, as does the double “e” (repeated twice) with the rhyming “g” forming a bridge between. Not until years later does she realize that Weegee already existed as a nickname, belonging to a photographer whom she must have read about in art magazines.

As she strides through Quaker graveyards, Pennsylvania woods and horse farms, this mythical Weegee can do anything, especially in a man’s world: climb trees, hoist herself over high fences and ride unruly stallions bareback while composing elegant poems that soon fade from memory except for occasional bedrock words, such as tubercular, turquoise, translucent.

Long since abandoned, Weegee exists in cascading signatures (green, purple, lavender) in old high school journals, except for the diary dramatically burned one autumn afternoon. Did the crimson signature cause a small brush fire to erupt, one that Weegee—in her last courageous act—extinguished with her poncho and water cascading from the felt-covered canteen?

explodes into sky
heart’s leap