Mistaken Identity, a Haibun

This week for Haibun Monday on dVerse, Lillian has asked us to take a walk down memory lane, writing a haibun from our childhood. I don’t know about anyone else, but since late October, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time on memory lane, too much probably, honestly, to be completely healthy. I know that it originates from the current times. Not spending holidays with family. Upending of traditions. Alas, I have no regrets. Today, though very chilly, the sun is shining. New birds are visiting the feeders, and hope feels like one of those flying birds in the center of my chest.

I’m too late to participate, but here goes anyway. 🙂

A Cowbird Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Mistake Identity

As a little girl, I was scrawny, tiny, apt to be running everywhere barefoot, even in a snow, much to my mother’s consternation. It was a time of war and country division, which may sound vaguely familiar. Three of my older brothers, none of whom at over 6’ tall could be called scrawny, had joined the military.

When a young man entered the house, not unusual in those days taking into account my father’s piano students and brothers’ friends, I focused on this familiar one. “You’re Jack,” I told him with the authority of all children under five who hadn’t seen her oldest brother in a while. He said “no” looked a little frightened by my determination and couldn’t flee the house fast enough. Or so it seemed at the time as well as in retrospect.

I started crying and had to be soothed by my parents who told me the guy worked at the pharmacy (undoubtedly where I’d seen him) and delivered daddy’s medication. But I was lucky. My three brothers survived that turbulent time, and I never accused a non-brother of being a brother again.

Bright cold noon
March winds bend willow trees.
Cowbirds return.

14 replies »

  1. I really liked how you captured the surety of perception alongside uncertainty and world collapsing – I felt the experience.

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