KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Haibun: 151 words
Editors’ Commentary: 34 words

A Year

by Kelsey Dean

My mother’s hair slipped away without so much as a whisper when the treatments settled into her veins. The leaves fell too, into the cracks of the earth, and then snow. Her skin paled like December as the tubes and scalpels sank into her softest parts—but her hands danced along sheets of colored paper even while the winter weighed her down.

when winter cracks
brown bleeds green

Spring and summer were heavy with rain, and the lines between months blurred and ran. It was October when I walked through my mother’s bedroom door. Golden autumn haze streamed through her window and mingled with the soft sound of her fingers creasing paper. There sat my mother, surrounded by origami stars and flooded with half-healed scars; like the furrows in the ground, she waited for her emptied spaces to bloom again.

trees stripped of fruit
dip themselves
into the sky



—First Publisher’s Choice Award, KYSO Flash HTP Writing Challenge

Commentary by KF Editors:

A skillfully crafted piece, rich with feeling, layers of meaning, fresh language, and subtle literary devices. The haibun’s close ties to seasonality result in some of the best and most authentic haiku we’ve seen.

Kelsey Dean
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is an English teacher in Istanbul, although she was born and raised in Michigan. She writes and paints when she is not too busy cuddling stray cats and dogs or sampling ice cream flavors. Her work can be found in numerous literary magazines, including Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things, Haibun Today, 3Elements Review, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal, among others.

Author’s website:

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡