Iteboshi: haibun

c. Mary Kling used by permission

c. Mary Kling used by permission


Every day it was his ritual.  A bit before sunset, regardless of the weather, he would sit and gaze in the direction of the ocean, looking east.  His mind travelled over the ocean until it came to the west coast of America and then would travel all the way to a certain city on the east coast.  He often wondered if she ever thought of him.  After all, he had been the one to decide to leave, to return to his home in Japan.  They had discussed moving there together but for several reasons, it would not have worked for them.  And so he wondered.  Does she ever think of me?  A mutual friend told him she had married.  “I will not wait for you forever.”  She had waited nine years – not forever but a lifetime.  She had married a good man and loved him deeply.  A deep sigh came from his chest.

It snowed last night – first snow, hatsuyuki.  A light dusting but still the weather was cold and promised more snow here in this mountainous area.  He thought of how she loved snow.  It always amazed him how she knew when snow would come or in the middle of the night, if snow would begin.  He would become aware in his sleep of her absence beside him.  He would go to the window and look out and there she would be – outside in the garden in the snow.  Holding her hands to the sky trying to catch snowflakes or dancing slowly as the flakes swirled around her.  Sometimes he would join her and like children, they would chase each other and laugh and dance.  On her black hair, in a long braid down her back, the flakes would settle and before they melted, they looked like stars in the night sky, and then the stars would blink out.  One night, he held her braid up for her to see the snow and told her it was stars caught in her hair.  He told her the name for these frozen winter stars – iteboshi.  He could tell by the look in her eyes how she loved that word and the meaning.  He closed his eyes and whispered, “Iteboshi.  Do you ever think of me in your snowy nights?”

silent as dust
snow falls – swirling frozen stars
dance in the wind.


For dVerse Poets Pub, Mary is the prompter for Haibun Monday and provided several photos she took for us to choose and follow our muse in writing our haibun.  I chose the photo above for my haibun.  It spoke to me as soon as I saw it and reminded me of a part of Hakone, Japan.  I am also linking to Poets United Poetry Pantry #281

dVerse Haibun Monday link:

%d bloggers like this: