Thursday, January 14, 2016


ICY WINTER DAY, a haibun
I experienced winter for the first time in my life in the early sixties when I was studying for my master's degree at Syracuse University in New York.

I eagerly anticipated its arrival having been born in a tropical place. My friends from the same and neighboring countries had a wild celebration of sorts with the first flurry of snow. We gathered in the yard behind our apartments and together jumped with outstretched hands trying to catch the white feathery stuff which melted gradually on our hands. Of course that was only the first half of the story as we later experienced real winter in the succeeding days.

One morning, I knew that it would be slippery that day when I started walking to school. Across the street I saw a car move unsteadily upwards on an incline only to roll down every time it climbed upwards. So on my way to school I was extra careful navigating the sidewalk with other students. Then it happened. 

In front, a few paces ahead of me, a white American student suddenly slipped and fell down on the icy walkway. Without thinking of anything but to help, I rushed to her and offered my hand to aid her up. She started to take it, but immediately withdrew her hand when she saw the brown skin of mine. Surprised, I reluctantly left the scene and did not look back even after I heard a thud again.

icy winter day 
she disdains my brown hand
trying to help her get up
as I turn to leave
she falls down again