KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 4: Fall 2015
Haibun: 241 words

Flash Flood

by Sheila Sondik

When I visit Berkeley, where I’d lived for so many years, I like to start off at my favorite breakfast place.

It’s raining when I arrive, a good thing in the midst of long drought. While I’m enjoying the waffle special, a couple rushes in from the storm. The woman exclaims about how wet her clothes are.

voices swirl
in my coffee steam
dining alone

Smugly, I think about our matter-of-fact approach to precipitation in Washington state, my new home.

not bothering
with windshield wipers
the usual drizzle

When I leave the cozy café, I find a transformed world. Sheets of water run down the sidewalk. Storm drains, filled with months of dusty debris, can’t handle the run-off. My car, just across the street, sits in the middle of a lake.

I walk around the block, thinking a rear approach to the lake may be better. Wrong. I hear someone mewling (me!) as I make my way through the wind-whipped downpour. My raincoat is useless against this deluge and I still need to wade through the lake. My clothes, underwear, shoes, hair, and skin are soon drenched.

Luckily, the friend I’m planning to visit in the afternoon has a clothes dryer. In the meantime, I’m wearing only the fluffy white robe I found in the closet of my rental cottage. While I blow-dry my shoes, the adrenaline flood slowly recedes.

reflect the storefronts
a dog stops to drink

Sheila Sondik
Issue 4, Fall 2015

is a printmaker and poet in Bellingham, Washington. In both art forms, she explores the manifold layers of consciousness and meaning in everyday moments. Her poetry in Japanese forms has been widely published since 2010 in journals and anthologies. In 2013, Egress Studio Press published her Fishing a Familiar Pond: Found Poems from The Yearling.

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