I recently received word that one of my haibun, “Caged Birds,” was awarded an An (Cottage) Award in the 2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest (Japan). Genjuan is the name of the cottage where, in 1690, Basho lived and wrote some of his most famous haibun; and this international contest is the only one sponsored by members of the Japanese haiku community. I am so honored to have my haibun recognized in this way and to share the honor with other writers of contemporary haibun–including Grand Prix winner and Tanka Society of America President Margaret Chula. You can read her award-winning “Well of Beauty,” as well as the other award recipients’ entries, on the Genjuan website. In the meantime, my entry follows.
my sister forgets
blue is a color
This afternoon I’m introduced to the new best friend—a wisp of a woman, dressed head-to-toe in canary yellow. There’s a large rhinestone ornament pinned just above her heart. A blue Post-it featuring a list of relatives’ names in flowery cursive hangs beneath the jewel. When she walks, the note flutters against her blouse like a dislocated wing.
She pushes one sleeve up to reveal colorful bangles and a white wristband meant to track her movements. Pretty, she says, pointing first to her arm, then to me as my sister swoops her up in a tight squeeze. Who’s your best friend? my sister asks her. Then they both smile broadly—as if they share some unfathomable secret. As if they’ve known each other all along in some parallel universe I can’t begin to see.
a flicker of light