KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Haibun Story: 190 words

Magnolia Warbler

by Dan Gilmore

The name of my shadowy disease is peripheral neuropathy. Came on in my late seventies. I wobble along, have a handicapped parking sticker, and even stoned adolescents and tattooed bikers hold doors open for me. Walking slower, I notice things. Just last week I watched a yellow-hooded, black-feathered bird frolic in the neighbor’s birdbath. Such joy! My neighbor, a widow in her eighties, came out and watched with me. She told me it was a magnolia warbler. “Jesus, what a name,” I said. “Are you religious?” she asked. “Just about birds,” I said. She told me she believed in reincarnation, and I said I would believe in it too if I could come back as a magnolia warbler. “You’re already a wobbler,” she said. We shared a laugh, then she drove us to dinner. While eating my hamburger it occurred to me that I could have gone a lifetime and never seen that bird or met this gracious woman. I’m still skeptical about reincarnation, yet I think a lot about the fun that warbler was having.

pausing this morning
as I make the bed—
sunlight on the sheets

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