Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 2, June 2011

Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA



pastures of May
visible along the lane
half a boy

Wind is parting the tall grass like hair. Sometimes it rolls across it and the field looks like sea. We settle in a place near the middle where only our heads are noticeable. Both of us strike matches, cup our hands, and bow down to light the cigars. It is too breezy for smoke rings so we practice inhaling and exhaling. "Tastes like vanilla," I say with a cough.

We do not hear him coming. He is just there when we look up. Father Henry is above us with shoulders wide against the sky. "Good day boys," he says as we snuff our cigars into the ground. "Looks like a glorious day for sailing."

Where did he come from? How did he find us?

The next day is Sunday and we are there at Father Henry's church just as we promised. Both of our heads wet with water. Both of our ties a bit crooked. "You know how things work in a Catholic church," Chris whispers as we look around for familiar faces. Neither of us has any idea. We follow along as best we can. Kneel when we should kneel. Sing when the singing starts. Even get in line for communion where Father Henry gives us the evil eye.

morning mass
he studies chord changes
in the hymnal


The haiku "pastures of May" first appeared in White Lotus (spring 2008)






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