September’s Haibun

September rolls around like a pumpkin, like a pumpkin on a skateboard careening round the corner past the tail-end of August, catching me off guard every year, and I’m knocked off my feet and on to my keester, a pile of leaves cascading around me, muffling the laughter of neighborhood children.

blackbirds call – in the yellow orange light a morning shines chill and pure

It’s the memories that leave me agape more than the innumerable pumpkins, the shedding trees and goblin children already looking forward to October and All Hallow’s Eve. So many crowd into the season’s turn, old faces smiling from the theater screen of autumn’s cerulean sky, busy with the doings of a golden declarative moment. Yet one stands out.

a half-remembered song – a black-limbed tree of blackbirds scatter in the wind

My Indian parents arriving in New York with six-year-old me in hand with silk Singapore jackets on our backs from a well-traveled in-law and my mother walking home with groceries and fainting on the sidewalk from hypothermia in a freak snowstorm. Nothing quelled her spirit though. Ever. Her Christian faith was unshakeable. Besides, we were in America, land of freedom, land of dreams, land of promise. Later a church fixed us up with proper coats and my mother’s face emerged regal as a queen’s out of an oversized pumpkin-orange coat, wearing her red sari, gold-threaded border in folds, daring fashion, daring my smile.

under palm trees a new grave – blackbirds carve silhouettes in September

Autumn Leaves, Lake George, 1924 by Georgia O’Keeffe, Image Source: Thanks to Sunnyside where I first saw this.

My mother died eight years ago this month.

It's Haibun Monday and guest host Xenia Tran invites to write about a special moment experienced this month with a word count under 250:  "The prose can be narrative, lyrical or terse and the ku can be either a three-line haiku or a monoku (haiku in a single line)." Click here to join in.

18 thoughts on “September’s Haibun

  1. Love the scents and smells of your autumn stories. The family’s arrival in the USA and your mom’s regal outfit, is my favorite. Your monoku are outstanding with the blackbirds imagery. We share a death anniversary this month – prayers to your family!


  2. I love that, Dora: ‘September rolls around like a pumpkin’, which I will remember! I enjoyed the blackbird monoku scattered through your prose, and the paragraph about your arrival in New York gave a clear snapshot of hard times turned good.


  3. Dora, your September Haibun is beyond beautiful … sharing so much of yourself … interspersing haiku brilliantly. I send peaceful healing … your Mother’s passing so recent. My mother passed in 2007, I still think of her daily and every yellow butterfly I see .. is her. We have many here in Central Oregon during Spring, Summer and Fall.


  4. Wow, you set the stage with such brilliant, unique imagery in those first lines and then lay out so beautifully a very touching story that honours your mother and your heritage. This is wonderful, Dora.


Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s