cattails
May 2016
Haibun
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UHTS collected works


December 14, 2012   EC
Frank J. Tassone
USA


It’s 9:30 in the morning. I take a knee to answer Day Shawn’s question. My co-teacher finishes her lecture about women reformers. Felicia arrives late and settles into her seat up front. Meanwhile, a gunman shatters the window of a first-grade classroom, enters, and opens fire.

morning chill
blood splattered on
picture books

Noon. Each surviving child holds the shoulder of the child in front. Their eyes are closed, even outside. All my department colleagues and I can do is stare at the live feed. Verna alone has the decency to cry.

cloudless sky
sneakers stepping beside
unseen bodies

"Almost 5:00. I come empty-handed to Dad’s grave.” Weekend traffic builds on the adjoining I-287. An elderly man wearing an American Legion jacket stares at a headstone decorated by a single wreath. I kneel and touch the salmon-colored granite. Feel the imprint of his name. The sun shines from just above the tree line. I have already seen too much death today. But here I am, remembering one more.

murder of crows
a final flight over
the bare Maples