Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 4, December 2010

Bob Lucky
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Waiting to Say Goodbye

A gray mist devoid of mystery and romance hangs over Colchester. It’s the last day I’ll see my son before returning home to Ethiopia and leaving him to fend for himself at university. He’s late for our appointment at the cafe. The mist hovers in the air. He’s deaf to alarms, I remind myself. Maybe he got laid and thinks he’s in love. That makes us all lose track of time. Maybe he went out drinking last night and is hung over. It’s raining now. Last night was the last time I saw my son. Between the bus stop and the dorm, he could’ve been jumped, beaten and robbed, his body tossed into the woods. The rain won’t stop. I can’t remember what he was wearing or if he had an umbrella.

third coffee
the battery in my phone
is dead

I leave the cafe and wander around the square, grab a chicken tikka masala pasty at a local shop that claims all its pasties are smuggled from Cornwall, and then see my son exit a bookshop. He spots me and waves, and I watch him walk toward me. There’s an unfamiliar look of concern in his eyes. “Where’ve you been?” he demands, shaking his umbrella at me. “I’ve been waiting for hours.”


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