Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2009, vol 7 no 2


The Kiss
Joyce Hildebrand


When I discover I'm sharing his bed with several women, I walk to the corner store, buy a package of chocolate-covered licorice, and chain-eat my way around the neighbourhood, trying to breathe deeply.

A familiar voice "D'ya have a quarter?" This is the man who usually says, "You're looking so beautiful today."

Rather than walking by as I normally do, I sit on the bench, hold out my bag of candy. People skirt around us, glance, look away. Pressing a coin into his hand, I meet his glazed eyes and squint against his cigarette smoke, glad for an excuse for tears.

A long pause when I ask his name "Charlie."

"I'm Joyce." He gazes at my outstretched hand, grasps it, presses it slowly to his lips. His soft moustache brushes my skin.

lemon balm
in the windowbox
a dead finch


Joyce Hildebrand Joyce Hildebrand lives in Calgary, Alberta with her canine companion, Dora. They both spend as much time as possible in the prairie and mountain landscapes near their home. Joyce has recently expanded her writing from articles on environmental issues to haibun.