Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Haiku

      by Ron Padgett


Three pairs of big red shoes
in the closet
with yellow laces


The broom leaning in the kitchen
later afternoon
door wide open


The old woman snatching at the vines
tearing away dead leaves
sputtering and cursing


On the cookie sheet
a gingerbread man
reading a book


Wooden clothespins on the grass
at the picnic
for the factory workers


In the air
a glass face
about to materialize


Fog on the gardener’s cottage
she snuggles closer
he opens one eye


A mosquito hovers
over the stile
to the apple orchard


If you look hard enough into the air
you will see something there
even if you are a hammer


An old man dressed like a mass of soap bubbles
walks in the woods
singing happily


From left to right
the sweet, meticulous script
in the old notebook


Red cherries on the cotton dress
on her body
as she opens the curtains


A man is a damn fool
unless he talks through his hat
as it gets blown down the street


From Collected Poems, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Coffee House Press, 2013, pages 693–694. See also “13 Ways of Looking at a Haiku” by Jim Kacian (YouTube video, 2017).