The Bowl He Holds

by Randy M. Brooks, Michael Dylan Welch, and Brett B. Bodemer


First published in My Neighbor’s Life (Bellevue, Washington: Laughing CyPress, 1999), edited by Kathleen P. Decker. Written 21 November 1998 at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville, California, during the Haiku Society of America 30th Anniversary Retreat, commemorated by the book. See also “Broken.”



St. Francis mission . . .

morning mist fills

the bowl he holds                                                                           Randy


            trailing syrup, the peach rises

            on the slotted spoon                                                          Brett


a plastic igloo

on the front lawn—

the first star                                                                                    Michael


            rope sways

            inside the bell’s darkness                                                  Brett


calloused fingers

grip the udder

the flow of milk                                                                              Randy


            after grace

            she turns over my wine glass                                            Michael