Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 1, March 2011

Carol Pearce-Worthington
New York City, New York, USA


If ever I would leave you

I open my eyes. A stranger smiles. He kisses my cheek, his lips feathery and cold. He says he's a relative. Part of my blood. He tells me names; they slide away as I try to hold them. He mentions a sister, my sister, he says. Sister, I taste the word. Where is she, where is my sister? His smile slips. He does not look so happy now. I smile or at least try to remember how. It's fine to have company although I am not really up to it. I rustle my hands, touch my fingers together. They're still there, in my lap, so that's good. I'm not presentable. I would like to feel my hair to make sure it's still there but he seems to know me, though I have never seen him before. It's all tiring. A woman comes to stand beside him; she seems to know me too. She says something with a smile. I don't like her. His face changes again. He talks about going. There is so little time. He must leave he says and cannot change his mind. I smile to let him know that I am grateful for his kiss and for the word sister. I close my eyes. At once my husband shouts that, since I have come to rescue him, I should have brought a car. I open my eyes. Gone. The stranger who whispers in my blood, my husband. Nobody here. So little time.

on a park bench
men under
garbage bags







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