KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Haibun Story: 184 words

The Strindberg Tree

by Kika Dorsey

In the dream she calls it a Strindberg tree. She says she can plant it in my tiny yard, and I want the tree the way I wanted my children, deep and aching and yearning. She sets aside a square of yard and places blooming white flowers floating in water, and I cup one in my hand, stare at its perfect, spindly petals growing thick and crowded in the bed of a circle.

The concrete of the porch is cracked, and I sit on its dark crevice. My husband comes out. He’s been sleeping, hair mussed, eyes torn by the night.

We can’t afford it, he says.
We will move anyway, he says.

I had traveled from islands to get here. I had forfeited seas for the mountains. My hands had cradled newborns, my gardens grew wild, and a castle grew in them to burn, then blossom into a huge chrysanthemum. I cup the flower in my hand, its petals as white as the skin of my breasts, its yellow center of pollen a dying star:

crumpled light
that carries me

—From the poet’s collection-in-progress Coming Up for Air

See also Author Commentaries on Haibun Stories.

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