Rosa rugosa

Little red flowers don’t mind their berries’ wilting on the vine.




Voice, empathy, action. Which trumps, or does any?

She wants desperately to lose this fear, this anxiety over being found out. She wants just one thing that she can pull out any time as proof of her worthiness. Something durable, lasting, meaningful. Otherwise, how will they know she was even here?

Ugh, why does everything require a disproof? Is she certain of her own existence? Can that be disproved? She thinks so, and pretty easily at that. She is a nobody who has accomplished nothing, a wannabe of the worst sort, looking for easy answers. She cannot just toss it, go down the rabbit hole that is right in front of her, go to the other side in search of. What if there is nothing there? What if she is proven wrong? Or rather disproved correct?

Does everything require proof, or rather disproof? Is it simply the lack of commitment that begs for confirmation? Is it not enough that she gets up every morning, makes breakfast, turns on her computer? Messages addressed to her demonstrate her existence, do they not? They speak to how important she is in the machinery of whatever it is that she does. Why is she so dizzy then? Why is her breath catching in her chest, gasps blocking the words from spilling out? She is suspended in mid-air, between decisions, between thoughts and ideas. The mitzrayim, the narrow place calls her and she is distracted by its song, falling into its beautiful face. She needs to drop out, pull back, all those cliches by way of saying she somehow got on the wrong train and it is hurtling her into an abyss and if she does not pull the emergency brake she will suffocate and turn into a pillar of salt. She needs an armchair, a recliner in which to find comfort and her breath. She needs a blanket that can cover her head to toe, to be invisible for a while. So that she can stop trespassing in a life intended for someone else.

But then again, who knows?


She must be five, her uncovered body tan, sinewy, a pail and shovel in the right hand, white sunhat. If you squint, you can make out a mischievous smile. Next shot — she is a pre-adolescent, travel clothes, a rucksack. A straight-edge shadow of something large (a ship?) covering her serious face partially. She waits.

Time and waves gang up
To chase away her childhood
With ruthless precision

I wrote this haibun for Carpe Diem’s Kamishibai challenge