Frank at dVerse asks us to write a haibun (prose plus haiku) dealing with fear. Unlike the trumped up fear of Halloween games, there are real fears that children deal with at the hands of a parent, their childhood stolen. Perhaps years from now in their adulthood, one will thank you because you noticed and cared. 
Kathleen Munn, Composition (Horses), c. 1927

Nightmares when they roughshod ride primeval, cross cave walls and closet doors, charm no one, least of all you, appearing on site like a combative cow to remind me that when you gave birth it was in pain, a pain that didn’t end with birth. For you it won’t be enough that the shamanic horse runs wild torment across my plain features, flushed hot, now cold with fear, gaping at the undisclosed terrain of days yet unrun, populated by masked faces finding a home where I cannot. Flesh-like you appear to say, “I screamed bloody murder, you devouring me inside out, the doctor said, literally, you were eating me alive, like some malnutritioned demon-child, and I’m just a shadow of myself. To haunt you. In whatever caves you may roam. Gypsy-cursed.”

Have you seen a cow eat its calf? A hen pluck out its chick’s eyes? A mother hate her child? From where does this malformation derive than in red misery, bitter burning coals, stone-shaped eyes that glitter from the grave to shriek and shriek and shriek?

I fear you. But it’s not what you think. Though you’re dead your pain inflicts me. Your strained neck as you push onward defying all but gravity, defying the gods of nature to take from you the child you will punish because you can’t punish them.

steel-born heart in sheath
trampled plain of childhood’s corpse
nightmare by firelight

46 thoughts on “Unbereaved

  1. Dora, one of your best. Brought tears as I read this part:
    “red misery, bitter burning coals, stone-shaped eyes that glitter from the grave”
    I look at the abusive parent here as a walking corpse, a puppet from hell.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is too hard to imagine that kind of abuse from a parent, but we cannot ignore the. reality of it, as much as we don’t understand the mystery of it.

    Psalm 27:10 “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up”

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  3. I know that God gifts us in different ways according to His own glorious design. I still find myself marveling to observe your mind and heart at work in concert. You go where I would never dream to venture, but I can still appreciate the art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments that so impress me with their honesty and grace. If you see good art here, it is borne of the furnace. There are truths that confound me, like God’s sovereignty in suffering, but I accept in trust. Neither am I shy about it. We are told that we will share in Christ’s sufferings, but while Christ’s cry of dereliction on the cross was real, we do not suffer apart from Him, never abandoned. The language of communion with Him includes speaking the words of injury and suffering, and in the confidence of God’s covenantal love, I can weep in pain and yet know His peace at one and the same time. Such is our union with Christ Jesus who loves us and gave His life for us! Amazing grace! Thanks again, Jon, so much.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, K., for your incisive thoughts. Children have always been the most vulnerable and yet the least protected throughout history. That sad fact has never changed whatever else has.


    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne. I’m not sure why the haibun form draws out the poison but in this case it did. And it was a pleasure reading your haibun by the way.


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