KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Haibun: 132 words


by Sonja Johanson

The sky really does turn yellow. You turned yellow. Nothing about growing up in New England prepares you for this. Who knows what a bow echo is, a shelf cloud, bookend vortices? Nothing prepares you for what to do when the drinking crosses that line between social and problem. Later, we found out a straight-line wind touched down on the 219; we barely missed it. It downed a swath of trees wide as a football field and three miles long. Later, we found out you fell down the stairs, lay for two days with your femur broken—your phone out of reach and infomercials playing on the T.V.

you called me
to say they drained your belly
three quarts of fluid
  I kept on driving
even when the radio
said tornadoes


Sonja Johanson
Issue 7, Spring 2017

is a contributing editor at the Eastern Iowa Review, and has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOATT, Epiphany, and The Writer’s Almanac. She is the author of three chapbooks: Trees in Our Dooryards (Red Bird Press), Impossible Dovetail (Silver Birch Press, IDES), and all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press). Follow her work at:

Sonja is a Lifetime Master Gardener and serves on the board of the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

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