The Ask. A haibun by Ray Rasmussen

| Recently Published Haibun by Ray Rasmussen |

image by r. rasmussen

The Ask

My lover asks me:
"What is the difference
between me and the sky?"
          ~ Nizar Qabbani

After reading Qabbani’s poem together, my lover smiles and asks: “What’s the difference between me and the sky?”

The difference, my love, is when in spring, you guide me to view the purple crocus poking above winter’s leaf litter.

And when in summer, you put your canoe paddle aside to pick up your camera, and my eyes follow your gaze to a tiny bonsai-shaped spruce growing from a sawn stump in an Algonquin Lake.

And when in fall, you see ATV tracks that have scoured the forest path we love to walk, and I see your eyes flood with pain.

And when in winter you hush me and stop to gaze at deer tracks in the snow.

And when today, you gasp and your face lights up when a red fox gracefully crosses Moss Stone creek on an inches-wide log that no human would dare walk.

And when minutes later, a second fox follows, bark-yips, receives a bark-yip in return, and together they cavort in spring’s warming sun.

All that, my love, is how you are of the Earth, and different from the sky.

warming sun –
her hand slips
into mine

Epigraph is from Nizar Qabbani’s poem, “My Lover Asks Me,” translated by B. Frangieh & C. Brown.

Published in Cattails: The Journal of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, April 2020

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