homeeditorsreviewsessaysmhbooks issues

Volume 35.1
Spring 2004


sample haibun



We followed the orphanage housemother nun down the corridor, single file. We were going to play indoors due to wintry weather. Waiting to enter the playroom, I stood in line in the required silence. Then it happened. After weeks of trying unsuccessfully to make a sound by blowing through my lips, a shriek escaped when I least expected it. The smack across my face was swift, but it didn’t dampen my glee—I had learned to whistle! I smiled up at the wimpled face of the nun who admonished me. “But I can whistle!” I told her. She was not impressed and told me so before she slapped me again. I looked down at my feet, my face flushing from the heat of her temper. It was then that I noticed my shoelaces were untied. I looked at the heavy rosary beads hanging from the nun’s belt and said a little prayer under my breath. She yanked me out of line by my ear, hissing that I’d have to sit out playtime until I tied my shoes. Never having learned to tie anything in all my four years, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the corner, flipping my laces, whistling softly.

ice-covered branches
a wren breaks
into song

Katherine Cudney




©2004 Modern Haiku • PO Box 68 • Lincoln, IL 62656