KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Haibun: 178 words

Valentine’s Day

by Glenn G. Coats

My father says I should stay in the office. I am not to go outside for any reason. He hangs a sign on the door announcing that he will return in thirty minutes.

I find a box of paper clips in a desk drawer, connect one to another and make a long chain. When I stand on my father’s chair, hold the chain up high, it touches the floor.

The adding machine is still turned on. I add the biggest numbers I can imagine, millions to millions, and all the answers are printed out for me on a strip of paper.

My father is still not back. I take out sheets of typing paper and draw monsters with big teeth and long hair. Their eyes pop out like frogs.

A red light is flashing on the answer phone. My father must have missed a call. I press a button and a voice comes on, “Thank you sweetie for the flowers. Just lovely.”

It is not my mother’s voice.

past harvest
patches of cotton
cling like snow


Glenn G. Coats
Issue 7, Spring 2017

is an educational writer whose articles focus on adult literacy. He serves as co-editor of haibun at Haibun Today. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee. His poetry collection about children who struggle with reading and writing, Trying to Move Mountains, was published by the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Glenn’s work has been published in many magazines and journals including: Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, The Heron’s Nest, Acorn, and Frogpond, among others. He is the author of two haibun collections, Snow on the Lake and Beyond the Muted Trees (Pineola Press).

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