barefoot through puddles
knowing the path to the door
without a porch light

two children
two sparklers–the light
in their eyes

on the table, his
collar–taking his memory
for a walk

~ Dianne Borsenik

“two children/two sparklers” first appeared in Haiku Spirit #11, 1997 (Ireland), and “on the table, his/collar” originally appeared in Frogpond Vol. XlX No. 2, 1996 (although both were slightly different versions than the ones in Blue Graffiti- I did a lot of revising for my chap). I wrote the third haiku you chose, “barefoot through puddles”, just this year, and it’s one of my own personal favorites.

. . .


There is something intimate
about holding a sputtering, silver sparkler
while on your balcony
at night, alone,
on the 4th of July.

My case manager had put the idea in my head –
“No plans for the 4th?
Come on, Marc,
light a sparkler or something!”

Truth is, at 44,
I had never lit one.

When we were kids
(it always starts with “when we were kids”, doesn’t it?,
as if past parental negligence could explain
why we are lame today.)
When we were kids,
my sister and I weren’t allowed sparklers,
nor matches;
no snap dragons, let alone bottle rockets…

(…so of course only my best friend knew of my pyrotechnical propensities,
honed in the back yard on the knuckle-sized, white stones
wispy, flying Kleenexes, alive with flame, floating toward the house,
and little plastic Dixie-cupfuls of kerosene spilt over the rocks and then ignited.)

But even a mama’s boy can get his hillbilly on at age 44 –
let that pyro out of the closet in a little 4th of July tribute,
share a moment with his inner child
on the balcony
with his lone starlight spewing against the darkness,

his life and his love having finally become things to explore,
sweet strange strawberries
to be kissed
before tasted.

~ Marc Steven Mannheimer

. . .

Next page →