< 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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Tim Gardiner
Manningtree, Essex, England

The End

I came here tonight to honour our pact. A true warrior dies on his feet. The gate is half open, chain hanging loose, swinging in the stiff breeze from the salt marsh creek. I follow the drums to the temple where beetles and crickets lie entombed in glass cases. The pond by the willow trees is masked in moonlight, the thicket alive with autumn bush-crickets. Stealth is my friend this evening. I must get in unseen, complete my errand, and leave unnoticed. No easy task when so many well-wishers prop up the bar, intoxicated by the joy of the day. It doesn’t take long to obtain the answer I seek. As we gather for the group photo, all I receive is a sarcastic look tossed over a dress strap and the assertion that your favourite men are kneeling before you.

doorway silhouette
across the dancefloor
like Colonel Kurtz
in a blood-red
bridesmaid’s dress

I wonder whether you notice me leave. I don’t look over my shoulder to check, resolve stronger than before. Errand complete. Message received. FUCK YOU scrawled in luminous orange on the car park wall.