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Ruth Holzer: Haibun

November Birthday

Who's this tortoise peering at me from the bathroom mirror? Heavy eyelids, a beaked nose, skin pouched along the jaws. Fading colors of the maples burn brighter against a gray drizzle. After Thanksgiving the streets are silent. We keep busy in separate rooms until dusk, when he appears in my doorway, offering a card.

ivy leaves
whirling away--
naked vines

From frosted crystal we toast another year of life. I blow out pink candles on a cinnamon bun. An instrument of silk and paulownia wood begins its ancient solo.

unfolding
the rice paper--
book of spring haiku


Ruth Holzer's haiku/haibun have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Acorn, Mayfly, Presence, bottle rockets and Hummingbird, among others. Longer works have appeared in various journals including Connecticut River Review, Sow's Ear, Mobius and The Formalist. She works as a translator.


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