Haibun: The Kindness of Strangers

Today Xenia Tran is hosting the haibun prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the prompt of compassion but not to use the word. Also today on Poets United, Sherry Marr has highlighted me and some of my poems:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2018/05/blog-of-week-update-with-kanzen-sakura.html

Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes it is the small things that show kindness. When my mother was admitted into the skilled nursing facility, she was at first hostile and afraid. The personnel did all they could for her and to help me. I felt guilty because I could no longer care for her at home. The aides would get her up and bathed and dressed, joking with her, cajoling her into eating a bit of her breakfast, and letting us know about activities planned for the patients for the day. I would wheel her around the facility in her wheelchair, talking to the staff and patients, creating conversation to include my mother. After a couple of weeks she began to get into the routine and to eat her meals in the dining room. I began to help the workers with seating patients, bringing their food to the table, wheeling them back to the activity room for afternoon bingo, musical programs, and craft activities.

After Mother’s Day, mama had a series of seizures and strokes. The little ladies I talked to daily asked me about her, asked me to give her their best wishes and prayers for her. The key would even have their pastors come to mama’s room to talk with her, to pray over her. She was nonverbal by this time and took all of her meals in her room. The Kitchen staff would prepare special bits of food that they knew she liked. I would sit with her all day. Everyone knew my routine. Early one morning, the floor nurse called me at home to let me know my mother had died.
birds on feeder
outside her window – away
they flew – her soul is freed

 

an angel made by mama in her craft class from an oyster shell

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

 

Quadrille Monday #32

At dVerse Poets Pub, De is hosting our quadrille. A quadrille is a poem of 44 words exactly, not including the title and usually includes a prompt word. Today the word is “echo”. this is my last post for awhile as my mother is not doing well and I am taking a hiatus away from dVerse Poets Pub. Blessings on all of you. I will be seeing you all again next month. http://dversepoets.com/2017/05/08/quadrille-32/

Room 214
the elderly woman sits in her wheelchair
looking out the window at the birds
on the birdfeeder.
her mind is filled with echoes and shadows
of years, times, and people past.
her daughter brushes her hair.
voices echo from other rooms.
she drifts asleep.

Haibun Monday – the only thing we have to fear…

Today I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt. It is on fear – fear of things, fear of being out of control, fear of losing loved ones, fear – primal and raw. Come join us today.

My Mother’s Daughter
Several years ago my mother began displaying erratic and irresponsible behavior. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then it has been a downhill road – she has forgotten how to walk, often forgets she has not eaten, has become incontinent. It is heartbreaking. Especially as my mother varies between paranoid, hostile towards me, and loving mother. My husband and I have no children. We did not get married until I was 49 and he was 39. It is just us and his mother who is starting to go somewhat erratic herself.

I am afraid when I look at my mother that one day, I will be sitting in a wheelchair, in her place. I will have no one to know or to care about me except maybe a nursing home. I kept her at home as long as I could but then one day, it became evident I could no longer care for my mother. Then I was afraid of the nursing home in which to place her. But praise God, she was sent from being in the hospital to a small nursing home with only 90 beds and ten minutes from our home. I can visit her often and have formed, during her stay there since January, friendships among the staff and caring relationships with some of the residents. But I am still afraid. My past fears of clowns, losing loved ones, spiders – pales in comparison to this new fear of Alzheimers. Alzheimer’s – one of the scariest words in the human vocabulary.

spring sky turns black – storm
begins and wind blows strong – hawk
flies against the wind

dVerse Poets Pub: Open Link Night 193

Today is Open Link night over at dVerse Poets Pub and people can submit any one poem of their choice. This week, Bjorn, “head” of dVerse posted a prompt on another poetry site. He is a physicist and so wanted people to write about time stretched, space time continuum, etc. How time changes. My mother is now in a skilled nursing facility. Time moves differently in that sterile place. a nothing event to us is an occasion to the elderly who live in the facility. Come join us at dVerse for the varied poems submitted this week: https://dversepoets.com/2017/04/06/openlinknight-193/

Bingo Winner
time stretches l.o.n.n.n.g
like taffy being pulled between
two people
time moves s.l.o.o.o.w.l.y
like a tortoise trying to cross
a busy highway
Listen – you can hear the seconds
ticking
T.i.i.i.c.k…..t.o.o.o.c.k
the old woman makes a ceremony
of choosing a prize from the cart –
she’s just gotten bingo!
will she choose the pale green
and pink decorated cake
or the green plush bunny
or the box of tissues?
the younger woman holding the prize basket
sighs and the old woman woman’s
hand wavers between the bunny and the cake.
at last she chooses the cake.
t.i.i.i.c.k. t.o.o.o.c.k…

Quadrille#27 Monday

Today is quadrille Monday and De Jackson is hosting the prompt. The word to use in your 44 word poem (not including the title) is giggle, giggles, giggling, or giggler. Come join us and real these wonderful short poems at: https://dversepoets.com/2017/02/27/quadrille-27/

Mr. Giggles

The old man is bent like a pretzel.
He has this perpetual Joker smile
a buzz haircut,
and is dressed in identical sweats every day.
His head snaps from left to right
Constantly – he giggles without stopping.
Even in his sleep he giggles.

dVerse Poets Pub: Quadrille Monday

Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, the post for Quadrille Monday will go live.  It is the first posting for the new year here at the Pub and we are pleased to have Bjorn hosting it.  He has chosen the word “curl” to include in your 44 word poem (not including the title).  So drop by at dVerse to read these wonderful short poems and to submit your own!  I am submitting two poems containing the word “curl”.

1.
the days have knit themselves
into a pattern of sameness –
an afghan in shades of grey.
like the winter sky and trees.
the elderly woman settles down to sleep.
the younger woman brushes the curls off
her forehead and whispers,
Sleep mama, sleep.

2.
I found out today where Nobody’s Cat
goes after I feed him in the morning.
I looked out the back way and
saw him limping laboriously
over the back lawn
crawling under the potting shed.
Brown leaves curl back onto themselves
not showing his passing.

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