First published in Drifting Sands Haibun #10, July 2021. Originally written in September and November of 2020.

My mother is the one person who I have known more than anyone else in my life. When she goes, who will come next, the person who I have known the next longest? My older brother, but who else other than family members? I’ve lost track of most childhood friends. Still in touch with a few high school buddies, so maybe them? Why does this matter? Why did I think of this today, on my neighbourhood walk? Maybe I’m feeling the weight of my own mortality, of when it might be my turn to embrace a euphemism for dying. And perhaps I wonder who I might matter to when I am gone.

                another sunrise—

                wildfire smoke

                oranges the air