“Did you know a plane flies over your house every seven minutes?” Dad asks. I didn’t know that. Dad is checking his watch again. “There goes another one,” he says triumphantly. I check my watch. He’s right. It has been exactly seven minutes. Dad likes to measure things. He was a scientist, before he retired. He taught me how to measure my pulse, how many steps to take before letting the kite string out, and how to count the gap between lightning and thunder. In his world, everything is precise and orderly. The hospice nurse says he has six months or less to live. That’s a lot of airplanes.

deepening twilight…
one by one
stars appear

Contemporary Haibun, Volume 14

HaikuNow! Contest Results

I am tremendously honored to have received First Prize in The Haiku Foundation‘s HaikuNow! Contest, in the Contemporary Division. You can read the haiku here (scroll down), along with Jim Kacian’s insightful comments on it.

Here’s the back story for the haiku:

Every day for two weeks, the last of my precious mother’s life, I visited my parents (both hospice patients at that point), in a skilled nursing facility in California. The heavy door clicked me in each morning, and out each evening. For the duration of that time, there was no other world for me but the one I was slowly losing. My mother died on February 1, 2008, and my father but a brief time later in Portland, on April 28th of the same year.