Twelve year old Lucia. Put in charge of her two younger brothers and baby sister because Mama is sick. Trying hard not to cry. Always the smells and heat in steerage. For thirteen days, nausea and fear of roving U-boats a daily companion.
a cold slap of spray-
Disembarking immigrants flood a great hall. Where is Papa? Shouts and cries, the stink of soiled clothes and stale bodies, a polyglot of languages, men in uniforms, pushing, prodding, poking. Open your mouth, cough, turn your head. Show your papers, name, destination. Pass. But to where? And where is Papa?
a thickening mist-
He promised to be here. He promised a better life. All these people. Were they given promises, too?
gulls circle the docks-
There! Pushing through the crowd. His black curly hair, bushy mustache; his thick muscled arms spreading wide to embrace them all.
a look back
A Weather Change
After days of spring rain, chill and fog, a breath catching heat. Summer clothes still wrinkled. Dressing in the bare minimum for a trip to the City.
express train passes-
the walk uptown
Staying close to buildings. A pause to suck in the occasional blast of cold air from an open door.
Adelaide B. Shaw began writing haiku and haibun over 30 years ago and has been published in several journals, both in print and on-line. She also writes short fiction and children's poems. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, she has lived in California and Switzerland, and now makes her home in Scarsdale, NY with her husband of 43 years.
Copyright 2003/2004 Simply Haiku