losing branches

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Season Your Poetry Part II
(posted by Toni)
“Matsuo Basho invented the Haibun form during the Edo period while travelling on a journey – for enlightenment! He kept a daily travel journal (nikki) and thus a new poetry form was invented. One of my trips to Japan, I traveled the route of Basho. Most amazing experience. A Haibun consists of a brief prose portion with a haiku at the end of that portion. Hai means poetry and bun means prose. At the end, the haiku brings the whole of the prose together.” 

“I would like you all to write a haibun for me. The haibun is not to be more than 100 words.”

We construct a family tree for purpose of settling my cousin’s estate.
Flooded by emotions, brings mourning closer to the surface. The unreality
of her being gone is a stabbing of the heart in this cold winter.

I am surprised by names I cannot recall. There are those for which we have no information.  My cousin’s mother had five siblings, scattered to other states. Some had children, adopted children, and went through divorces. Whereabouts of several are unknown.  Family has dwindled, and has become more important.

birds grow and take flight
twigs are gathered in Winter
nest built for newcomers


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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20 Responses to losing branches

  1. kanzensakura says:

    So sad the diminishing of family. My family has dwindled to three. The haiku is gorgeous.


  2. So sad how families get scattered through the years. So sorry for your loss, Sara. Your poem is beautiful, especially the haiku.


  3. Jim says:

    Interesting to find a time for the family to gather. It is sad that the cousins are diminishing in numbers. There won’t be more, ever. Dad had three brothers, there were nine of us cousins, three have died. Hint: Mrs. Jim and I help each other remember.


  4. Susie Clevenger says:

    Families are fragile limbs and it is often difficult to find leaves. We are going through something similar over oil rights.


  5. Ah, this is poignant and heart-touching. I loved the way you have collated these thoughts and emotions in the form of that last line of the prose. The haiku is indeed beautiful.


  6. annell4 says:

    Someone has to keep up? Who will do it…in my childhood, I remember family reunions…some people I knew, some I did not. After my Grandmother, and her siblings, were gone, and then my Mom…so many cousins I don’t know? Who will do it?


  7. Helen says:

    Love the ending ~ and new beginning, Sara.


  8. Such a telling line: Family has dwindled, and has become more important.

    And I agree that it’s a beautiful haiku.


  9. Mike Bayles says:

    I like this haibun.


  10. A poignant and heartfelt witness to grief, Sara!


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