< meta charset="UTF-8"> Haibun Today: A Haibun & Tanka Prose Journal
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 4, December 2019
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Scott Hicks
Fresno, California, USA


Going Home

Anxious from boredom, thirty feet of boat rigged to solo. I am talking to pelicans and gulls as if they are watching and judging me. Engine rumble; main and jib uncovered, lines undone, I shove off and step back aboard. Once in the open harbor, I turn the boat into the offshore breeze, let go the helm and raise the main. She turns slowly on her own. I let out the main for a run out the harbor mouth. Freedom on the bay is engine off. The boat glides over swells moving under her, their pulses break onshore. I set the boat on a reach and trim sails, time fades, and the brown-tinged sky turns blue again.

A cloud blows out of the ocean off starboard, raining into the sky, landing on the ocean like it belongs. A second blow and the water turns black ahead of me. In a glide that doesn’t stop, the sea rolls off its back. Submerged and gone, I hold course hoping it has moved on, but then it rises above the horizon; the splash like a proclamation. A slap of tail flukes astern makes the game too real, and no referee. I tack for a reach home. Crossing my bow once more, I am thinking we might collide, but it submerges quickly under keel. Two more tacks to reach safe harbor, my companion stays behind, tail flukes raise and lower one more time.

jetliner at 30,000 feet
man in a window-seat
looking down at the Pacific Ocean
dreams of whales he can’t see
being alone is not loneliness

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