Saturday, January 22, 2005

Year's End [a haibun]

A quiet evening. I curl up on the couch, television turned off, mug of tea with lemon, plaid blanket to keep my knees warm, and think again of my mother -- the real one.

She has always been an enigma to me. Every morning, I look at myself in the mirror -- at my eyes, my hair, my face with its changing expressions, and try very hard to see her. The gray in my hair makes me think of the swift passing of time. I wonder how old she is, where she comes from.

dust on the ground
the bones of
my forefathers

I have no name, no date of birth, no parentage, no photographs, no letters. I do not know the sound of her voice. Does she talk like me at the end of a long day? Do her eyebrows meet the way mine do whenever I am trying to solve a puzzle? Does she sing, weep, write poetry, walk on the beach alone? Perhaps, too, she wonders about me. No doubt, we carry parts of each other. I read this haibun aloud, pretend it is her.

wind by the river
like my mother

Outside, the darkness of a winter evening, but for the moon. I am thinking that, perhaps, she looks at it, too, sometimes. Maybe she saw it last night before she went to bed, and observed that it was the same moon as the one last month, last year, year after year, for the past forty years, and forgot it when she closed her eyes. Old moon, that has seen so many things with his one eye ... even me.

moon rising
looking for the face
that looks like me

The original version was written in week 52, 2004, in the dying days of December.


laryalee said...

Hi Ella,
this is just lovely! Poignant and memorable...
and the haiku are splendid!

roh mih said...

Nice haiku, ella! Very touching. I've written haikus and tanka, too, with reference to my father who passed last 2003. All my haikus are based on reflections on my real life experiences, even ordinary ones. Up to now, I still don't know what a haibun is. I never bothered to research on it until I read your post.