Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 2, June 2010

Renée Owen
Sebastopol, California, USA


Missive To Twenty-Four Wild Turkeys
Attempting To Fly Over A River No Bigger Than A Creek

Start by two-stepping down the steep riverbank, s-l-o-w-l-y, with a loud rustling of gold and russet leaves. Make high pitched chirping sounds. Take your sweet time finding just the perfect angle for descent. Second, scuttle around the willows and oaks, switchbacking the hill, instead of dashing straight down. Go only as far as you feel like going. Then, parade back and forth, parallel to the river, eyeing it all the while. Be wary of this terrifying but necessary feat life demands. Pretend you haven’t performed it each day of your lives. Next, one by one, heroically lift your ungainly wings and take flight, presuming that is what you call it. Attempt to fly over the dreaded wet river below to the opposite bank. Try hard not to be graceful. You last few, who just can’t seem to work up the gumption, who take longest to take off, go ahead and get cold feet. While your brethren drink their fill from the flowing water below, you scaredy pants should continue to pace and pace and pace. When a clankety old car rumbles by on the nearby dirt road, let it frighten those of you still pacing into more decisive action. Scoot down the hill helter-skelter, in a flurry of leaves, and take flight. Just barely manage to make it over the silver sliver below, wings flapping erratically, feet clawing at thin air. Finally, the minute you hit the cobblebar on the opposite bank, ignore your thirst. Scurry to safety, into the dark woods. Don’t bother getting a long, cool drink of river water. Forget, in your haste, why you were there in the first place.

river’s end
above the treetops
light of the moon




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