KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 4: Fall 2015
Haibun Story: 242 words

My Big Brown Cup

by Dan Gilmore

I’m in my office now trying to write and I miss my old brown coffee cup. I’ve been with it longer than I’ve been with my wife. I’m thinking she threw it away. The wimpy yellow one she gave me as a replacement doesn’t work. The big brown one had words in it. I’d drink a cup and the words flowed out of my pencil so fast the paper would sizzle. But the yellow one is illiterate and lazy. It sits around all day, yappy happy yellow, and stares at a blank page as if it were a mine field. I need my gruff brown cup. I should confront my wife nose-to-nose and force her to tell me what she did with it. I’m thinking this when she walks in, plops down on my sofa, looks at the empty-headed bereft version of me, and says, “I found that brown cup of yours. Do you still want it?” “Yes,” I say, “I love that cup.” I manage to suppress my urge to say, Ah ha, guilty, just as I thought. My wife raises an eyebrow. Then I add, “I love you too.” The room is quiet now. Words are leaping around like swarming locusts. It’s true, I love my wife, I really do. But my big brown cup makes all love possible.

old dogs stay in their yards
long after the fence has fallen
it’s not fear but faith

—From New Shoes, the working title of Gilmore’s collection-in-progress of haibun and haibun stories to be released by KYSO Flash Press next spring

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