Haibun Today

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

Amelia Fielden
Canberra, Capital Territory, Australia


The Longest Week

"see you soon,
the end of March," we said
hugging and
kissing her goodbye
for the very last time

The call comes, as such calls are wont to do, in the darkness just before dawn.

I ring around the family interstate and overseas, regardless of the early hour or time differences.

Then we dismantle the holiday house, pack the car, in bewildered haste. How ? Why?

all the trees
are still in summer-green leaf,
our daughter only
thirty-eight years old
the morning she doesn't wake

We drive inland for six hours, to the capital.

Homecoming is the same as always . . . and not at all the same.

she is gone . . .
butterflies are dancing
the sun shines,
but nothing will shift
this boulder on my chest

After a long week of making the arrangements no parent ever wants to make, we hold her funeral.

Outside the chapel the young ones release brightly-coloured balloons into the air.

the red balloon
seems to ride on the wind,
becoming a dot
high on the blue sky, then
disappears into a cloud



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