Haibun: March Madness

For Merrill’s prompt over at dVerse – March Madness. Narch can be a mad month with Lent, basketball tournaments, the weather!  My take on March Madness.  I am proud that I have several degrees from Duke, one of which is my MFA which I was awarded last summer, in honor of my mother, who died two years ago.

Haibun:  March Madness
“Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.” Mike Krzyzewski

When I was three months old, I was taken to my first basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mama says I was quiet and slept the whole time. She and Papa had a chance to get out but no babysitter so, they took me along. I grew with Duke Basketball, our house being about three blocks away from the east campus. Every March, the world of ACC and NCAA (Atlantic Coast Converence and National Collegiate Athletic Association) gear up to see who is the best in the USA. My Duke Blue Devils have won five national tournaments. I miss my mother most of all during March, sitting and cheering the players and fussing at Coach K.  Duke’s many championship banners hang proudly from the ceiling.
March Madness begins –
my mother’s presence sorely missed –
cold winds blow outside

Duke Chapel in the snow

 

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. merrildsmith
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 16:29:21

    Even though I have zero interest in sports, this is so touching–and poignant. I feel like you watch the games both honoring and missing your mother.
    (And Duke does look beautiful.)

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 04, 2019 @ 16:30:33

      It is a truly beautiful campus, built from gothic stone. It is beautiful in all four seasons. I love the university and am so proud that I received several degrees from there. A great school!

      Reply

  2. Glenn Buttkus
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 16:40:22

    Yup, you appreciate and celebrate March Madness as it was intended, through basketball. A lovely slice of your childhood shared; thanks.

    Reply

  3. Carol J Forrester
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 16:43:42

    This is just lovely.

    Reply

  4. msjadeli
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 16:47:27

    Up until this year (not working now, so…) I played the bracket in a pool at work. Although I love to watch basketball I don’t follow the games, rankings, etc. That said, Duke was on my bracket on the final four every time. I know enough. With the annual championships and to have that shared memory with your mom, it has got to stir up your emotions.

    Reply

  5. Frank J. Tassone
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 17:06:45

    The year Binghamton first qualified for the tournament, they played Duke in the opening round. As the Blue Devils were top-rated that year, Binghamton had a very brief March Madness!

    I love the personal feel of this one, Toni!

    Reply

  6. rothpoetry
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 21:35:31

    Being a Carolina fan, I understand your haibun completely. Loved your story… you had no choice but to cheer for Duke! :>)

    Reply

  7. Frank Hubeny
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 22:05:52

    Your parents remind me of my wife and me. We took our children with us everywhere.

    Reply

  8. V.J. Knutson
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 22:06:25

    It’s those times that bound us most together that hold the loss most of all. Effective haiku.

    Reply

  9. Suzanne
    Mar 04, 2019 @ 22:58:02

    I don’t understand American sports but I definitely understand you missing your mother. Your haiku has a real aching sadness to it.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 05, 2019 @ 06:49:30

      Lol. Suzanne, I don’t get American sports. Basketballl is fast paced with regulated contact. It really is fast . It takes a kot of skill and physical endurance to throw a large ball into a small basket high in the air. American football on the other hand is like being nibbled to death by ducks. The game is a hour but with all the stopping the. Clock it can take 2-3 hours. The last two minutes of the game take 15-30 minutes. I Don’t care for the game. Don’t understand it either. It is mainly the connection that I love that I love with my mother and how much we enjoyed watching Duke play together. I Don’t care for professional sports at all.Don’t

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  10. robtkistner
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 03:12:02

    Great write Toni! Wonderful memories, and my wish of peace to you regarding your memories of your mother. Loved ones frequently remain linked to moments in our life. It is their path by which they revisit us, and touch our hearts.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 05, 2019 @ 06:30:40

      Yes t is Rob. Sometimes I can feel right in the room with me and it is a happy time, even if Duke rarely loses. 😊

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  11. anmol(alias HA)
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 05:18:52

    Ah, I love how you have shared these memories in this narration. It’s the things like these which make it so emotive and nostalgic. Your haiku is plain beautiful!

    Reply

  12. areadingwriter
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 09:33:04

    the love, the pain, and the love are all felt through your lines. thank you for sharing this memory and that exquisite haiku.

    Reply

  13. coalblack
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:28:11

    My father was a huge University of Michigan fan, and took me to many football and basketball games there. I find that, though I have no interest in either sport, that i still remember those basketball games with my father fondly. Yost Field House i want to say was the name of the venue, but am not at all sure. Anyway, it is amazing how these events can leave a pleasant mark somewhere inside us.

    Reply

  14. annell4
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:38:40

    I cannot say, do not know, how we reach the place, we realize the ones we miss, are always with us. My Mom died in 2012, and I miss her everyday, but know that she is with me always. Loved your write, Toni.

    Reply

  15. Sherry Blue Sky
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:55:37

    How wonderful that you and your parents shared that through the years, Toni.

    Reply

  16. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 15:37:31

    My interest in sports is pretty low, but I think I would have felt much the same if I grew up like you did.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 05, 2019 @ 15:57:17

      The only sport I am interested in is collegiate Duke basketball. All the other sports, to be honest are like being nibbled to death by ducks or one big cluster fuck.

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  17. Magaly Guerrero
    Mar 05, 2019 @ 18:14:11

    The things we love, which we used to do with the ones we love who are no longer with us, are such breeders of longing… I know you still delight in the games, but I also understand the chill feeding the last line of that haiku.

    Reply

  18. Jim
    Mar 06, 2019 @ 02:50:38

    A mother is special to us. I’m glad she was a Duke fan, my mom was an ardent U of Nebraska football fan. A BTW here, my BIL’s Masters of Education is from Duke.
    ..

    Reply

  19. sanaarizvi
    Mar 06, 2019 @ 11:36:42

    This is incredibly beautiful and poignant in its portrayal of familial bond, Toni! That haiku tugs upon my heart. ❤️

    Reply

  20. memadtwo
    Mar 06, 2019 @ 22:21:43

    Those shared experiences are a way to connect, always. (K)

    Reply

  21. Susie Clevenger
    Mar 07, 2019 @ 18:46:40

    I love stories about bonding, the things that connect us even in absence.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Mar 07, 2019 @ 20:09:22

      Thank you Susie. I miss my mother so much during this time of year. March was always a grim time for us because in the same month, March, of the same year, I lost my father, my grandmother, and grand father. These would have been mama’s husband, mother, and father. March Madness always kind of saved us and brought us close.

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