Haibun – At Rest

Today is day 27 of OMIRWOPAN.  Only three more days to go.  Today Margaret is our prompter over at Real Toads.  She attended an art exhibit of works by children and obtained permission to photograph some of the art for use with this prompt.  No names of the kids are given but the ages and grades are listed under the pictures.  The ages range from elementary to high school.  I picked one called The Bones. This is a haibun with a nonstandard haiku ending it.

10th grade 15 yrs.

At Rest
You died June 18. Every day I watched you dying – slowly and painfully. Every day I prayed for you to die while feeling sadness at losing you forever. You were silent by March. The vampire that sucked out your memories took away your life, your love – all except your knowing of me. Me you never forgot. In July I received your ashes. I sat in the car with the box holding your ashes cradled in my arms and wept. Then in the heat of summer I made the pilgrimage farther south – to the country cemetery where our ancestors lay under the big oaks and magnolia trees.

When we arrived at our hometown I rode you around the streets of your memories – past our old home place, past the high school from which you graduated. past the hospital where you gave birth to me. Then onward until we reached the country. At the cemetery I walked with you and took a trowel and in your mother’s grave I dug. I dug a deep hole in the brick hard red soil. sweat dripping down onto the earth like tears. At last I had the hole deep enough.
I poured your ashes into the hole and placed a red carnation on top – your favorite flower. I replaced the earth and tamped it down. I tucked the earth around your ashes as I used to tuck you in for sleep. I built a small stone cairn over your resting place. Be at peace mama. I love you. And then the long drive alone back up north.
sweltering heat – I
buried your ashes in the red soil –
a lone cardinal sang

copyright kanzensakura


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry Marr
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 15:10:09

    Toni, so very moving and beautiful. Incredibly so. Sigh. It has moved into my heart and I will be remembering it all day.


  2. annell4
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 15:52:33

    I loved your write. I didn’t know your Mama, but I love her through your words. What a tender task, you did it well. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. Such mysteries are hard to understand.


  3. paul scribbles
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 16:22:45

    A love song to Mum. So deeply moving.


  4. Vivian Zems
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 16:49:08

    So sad….and I thank you for sharing this. May my kids do for me what you’ve done for your mum.


  5. kanzensakura
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 18:16:29

    I am sure they will.


  6. Helen L Dehner
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 19:09:54

    Love how you ‘rode your mother’ round the streets of her life.


  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 19:36:02

    Heart-rendingly beautiful.


  8. Frank J. Tassone
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 19:37:55

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings 12: Toni’s latest haibun!


  9. qbit
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 21:14:16

    I buried your ashes in the red soil –
    a lone cardinal sang



  10. Jim
    Apr 27, 2018 @ 23:01:31

    Oh Toni, this must have been sooo hard. My dad lived to be 97, living eight more years after my mom died. It did me good the last two years when he called me by my name. Most times it would be by some other relative, this went on for two more years. He was wheel chair bound or in bed, he had a broken hip that they couldn’t repair. My heart goes to you, Toni. May God bless you, you sure did show His love in giving it to your mom at a hard time like you had.


  11. sanaarizvi
    Apr 28, 2018 @ 03:42:37

    I am so sorry for your loss, Toni. This is a beautiful haibun.


  12. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 28, 2018 @ 10:14:52

    I found this so moving… the journeys we seem to make this day with the ashes…my father took my father’s ashes by train. My aunt flew to Sweden with her husband… the memories you have in the presence of ash. Lovely haibun


  13. Victoria C. Slotto
    Apr 28, 2018 @ 23:07:28

    This is so tender and telling of such a deep bond of love. Sigh.😔


  14. MrsBednar
    Jun 08, 2018 @ 11:37:58

    I’m sorry it has taken me so long to read and respond… Deeply emotional & liked it all but the “rode around the streets of your memories”. Beneath oaks and magnolias seems a most amazing place to rest for eternity. Hugs.


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