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We waited, my siblings and I, neatly folded and stacked on top of each other. Pristine and wrinkle free we displayed our colourful labels that listed our vital statistics and expounded our virtues. The first to leave went home with a soccer dad, the next with a golfer and the third, sadly, with a couch potato who would do nothing more exciting than balance a mug of beer on his right thigh. I was the lucky one, I went home with You.

It's an exciting life, full of adventure, travel and many challenges, protecting You. I battle willow branches and ward off cactus thorns and some, sorry not all, poison ivy attacks. I protect your knees from debris while You take photographs of wildflowers. I sacrifice my fibers to protect your backside as we slide down dry sandstone waterfalls. I cushion your napping body from sharp, rock-covered ridges, and together we provide a pillow for that dog who travels with us. 

Whenever I become embarrassingly thread bare and torn You take me to our little Chinese goddess. With surgical precision and loving hands she cuts away my wounds, replaces my gossamer fabrics and sutures me back to health. I return, ready to continue my life's work, protecting You.

spring sun –

 the mating song

 of a wood thrush

renewal –

a stitch here

 a stitch there

But this year, the new one, she, arrives and keeps taking me off of You. When hiking, she undoes me and kicks me into the corner of our tent and then lays her body over Yours. Left in a heap on a gravel bar, I watch as she entices You to cavort with her in a mountain stream. 

Then today, she scrutinized my fraying seams, fingered my layers of patches, and shook her head, scorning the very fabric of my being. I hear her whisper unthinkable things about my future.

winter –

 the darkness

 in a ragbag

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Brieanna Hall, Haibun Today, 5:2, June 2011.


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