KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Haibun Story: 192 words

The Gaucho

by Karen Petersen

His loneliness encircles him like the giant pampas sky he rides so restlessly under, his solitude an ancient birthright. As he rides, remembering the garments and photos of women long gone the sunset comes to him, so soft and quiet, hiding his companions the stars who shine more boldly as the hours pass. And as he lies on his bed of clover the stars fall down into the embrace of the earth, and he sleeps there content, surrounded by vast lands whose boundaries are uncertain but still strong with tradition. The first rays of light fall on his glittering belt as the sun rises through the morning’s fog, and pretty little birds flit about singing and making merry. Waking, he rides off, his mate cold, his clothes dusty, weaving among the rambling doe-eyed cows whose weary backs ache from a multitude of sorrows. The sky is heavy and lidded, the dying landscape slowly fading from green to yellow—his horse is restless, pawing the ground; there will be only one more riding day before the long rains come.

rain falls like needles
piercing this freedom too soon
the horizon glows



Publisher’s Note: Although Karen Petersen has published her poems and fictions in numerous venues worldwide, “The Gaucho” is her first haibun, and we’re pleased and honored to be first to publish it. We hope to see more of her writing, including haibun stories, in future issues.


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