We don't have mourning
doves where I live, but sometimes I hear them calling in the background of
a movie. Something
reaches deep down inside me and pulls me back across the years to my upstairs
bedroom in the old Indiana farmhouse where I was raised.
It was always mourning doves that
pulled me from my dreams of princes on white stallions. I'd lie in bed as long
as I could, until the third time Mother warned me about what would happen if I
didn't get up right now. "I'm up!" I'd yell down the stairs, and
then I'd sit beside my window above the plum trees and spin a fantasy or two before
from out in the meadow
a pony nickers
Summer days started hot and sticky,
but not nearly as hot and sticky as they were going to be. After lunch, my
brother and I would begin plotting how to convince Mother to give us money for
the store. It was a rare treat, but we were certain every single day that
we could make it happen. When she occasionally relented, we each held our
bounty as if it were a king's ransom. We'd head off down the dusty road lined
with cornfields and wheatfields to the country store a mile or so away.
we spend our dimes twelve ways
walking to the store
Deciding what to buy was the litany
of our summer days, the lyrics of our favorite song. No matter what we decided--ice
cream or penny candy--the walk home was a trip into wonder that we'd make last
as long as we could. And now each time a mourning dove's call pulls me back there,
I'm content to see that the wonder has endured all these decades later.
considers herself to be a haiku rookie, even though she began writing what she
thought was haiku in the 1960s. An intense study of ancient and modern haiku that
began just a few years ago introduced her to what she now calls "real haiku,"
and she's been devoted to honing her craft ever since.
She is one of two members of the
Alaska Haiku Society and hopes their new website will draw more Alaska poets to
See more of her work at The
Alaska Haiku Society Webpage.