Today I am the host/pub tender for dVerse Poets Pub and it is Haibun Monday. The topic for poets to write haibun about is heat: horrible heat, falling in love in the hot summer, getting married, divorced, fired. The haibun can be sad or heavy in tone or light. So come and visit us at dVerse for this Hot Hot Hot Edition. Haibun are not flash fiction or fiction but true accounts.
Sunday Night: It is midnight and still the temperature is in the high 90’s. When I walk outside, the heat grabs me and sucks the air from my lungs. The air is close and hostile. I go back into the house. No gazing at the stars tonight. It’s too darn hot. In our city, four people have died from the heat. Cooling centers have been opened for those elderly or poor who do not have air conditioning. They can sit in the cool from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. But then it is back to their hellishly hot homes. Monday at 6:00 am, the temperature is already at 95F. I shower and head to the Feedmore food kitchen to start help putting together breakfast for Meals on Wheels and for various program leaders to pick up for feeding programs for out of school children who will not be getting the meals they normally get during the school year. With the meals for the Meals on Wheels program, two extra bottles of icy water are packed so the elderly or disabled will have some necessary hydration that is cold and refreshing.
By 9:00 am, the meals for all programs have been made, distributed, and cleaned up. Now it is time to begin on lunch. Sweat rolls under my clothes in the hot kitchen. We all wear tee shirts and have bandannas to keep the sweat at bay. But none of us falter. We laugh and complain about the heat and make up jokes or songs to cheer us while we work. It’s so hot, the life span of a popsicle is 10 seconds…it is so hot, trees are looking for shade. Heat Dome the meteorologists say about the heat that covers parts of our nation. On the noon news, another death from heat: a young healthy construction worker. Hunger and heat stretch in front of us like a highway from hell.
heat has no mercy –
it murders the young and old
and does not care.