First published in Frogpond 18:3, Autumn 1995, page 39. The Buson poem is from Haiku, Volume 4, by R. H. Blyth. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1952, 1982. Written at LitEruption in Portland, Oregon in 1994.



before the white chrysanthemum

the scissors hesitate

a moment




All at once it comes to me that flowers should be thankful for doorbells. My sandalled feet shuffle to the door to admit my girlfriend. She comes in with the sunlight dappled by the ivy around the porch and trellis, then we leave the sun and move into the kitchen.

        “I have chrysanthemums for you,” I begin. “I was just about to trim them and put them in a vase.” She walks around the kitchen table to me, and wraps her arms around my neck.


and still we kiss—

scissors clatter

from the table to the floor


Michael Dylan Welch