Haibun Today

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

Theresa Williams
Bradner, Ohio, USA


First Time on a River with Locks

He dreams he's floating toward the massive gate. It's guarded by a Sphinx and flanked by cranes with wrecking balls on rusty cables. As a child he was taught to hide his wild nature so all would be forgiven in the next world. But there is no heaven, no lightness, and no harps. The Kingdom is a leaden place. Further on is Homestead, where Pinkertons were burned alive on their barges, steel workers gunned down. From there the Monongahela flows to Pittsburgh, into the Ohio. It all leads to Cairo, a place Charles Dickens called hell.

He awakens, dread hanging on until he lights the lantern. The smell of kerosene takes him back to when he was a boy with a lamp. A trip through the dark with his father. Going to check the red wine, fermenting in the musty shack.

still air
the world rights itself
within a flame







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