Oil Slick

This haibun first appeared in an American haiku journal, and then in Blithe Spirit in England. I need to track down publication details. Also anthologized in Journeys: An Anthology of International Haibun (Hyderabad, India: Nivasini Publishers, 2014), edited by Angelee Deodhar. It was first drafted in Foster City, California on 1 February 2000 in response to the crash the day before of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 off the California coast.

morning after rain thinning clouds the scrape of a rake in dry dirt under the eaves a sack of lawn seed hefted up the front path dust puffs from the sack when the workman sighing sets it down a passing car louder with the road’s wetness my phone rings once twice my housemate picks it up then knocks at my door the phone now in hand mother no special news another passing car gone to yellowstone next week holiday inn 406-646-7365 no news love you too laundry folded my hands open drawers shut them part spaces in the closet for clean shirts the sound of the hall bathroom after the toilet stops flushing two passing cars the rattle and growl of a starting engine hum and buzz of a lawnmower or leafblower I imagine the slap of the newspaper earlier in the morning on the pavement in front of the garage news today of the Alaska plane crash another passing car another passing car another car passing


torso nods

in the oil slick

the mouth says nothing