< 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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Bill Gottlieb
Trinidad, CA, USA

A Dog I Talked To Tonight

New unknown neighbors: parents, two kids, two dogs, one sad in the backyard in shivery rain. Early January: cold like a kick, like a thick rope around a throat. By a big wooden doghouse: barking, barking, an animal alone.

You’re an animal, my fiancée says to me, reliably warm. I bark in a hum at the heart of innumerable strangers, Let me in, let me in. I may break my chest for trying, upset, incessant, a human, an isolating specimen.

My wife died of cancer two years and ten days ago today, that fact like the echo of a command. Do something.

My fiancée is away for the weekend. So much that is hers is now mine, like the blind old male who lollipops my hand, fusses his friendly way to my straightened legs, stays, his satisfaction natural as the evening.

I thought that dog might have stopped barking but now I hear more barking, barking, and harder rain.

across our valley
our mountain
we’ll go for a walk there soon
aside the heeling moon