Betty Kaplan, US



Haibun 1

On The Way Home

The narrow dirt road runs through the forest. We are on our way home from a day at Cognomen Lake.

Suddenly a loud crash of thunder almost simultaneously with a bolt of  lightning. The storm grows wilder.

I huddle on the floor in the back of the car.

There in the distance a small shack on the corner. "We will stop there until the storm lets up," my father says.

As we approach the corner, a bolt of lightning shrikes the little house and it goes up in flames.

And I am only three years old.

shaped by the weather
the pumpkin on a vine

Betty Kaplan

who now lives in Florida, The Lightning Capital of the World.

Published in Frogpond




There was a very big snowstorm. Cars couldn't move. The streets went unplowed for days.

Next to my Papa's store there was a huge empty lot. Papa agreed to have some of the snow dumped there and we woke up the next morning to a mountain two stories tall!

My sisters and and I welcomed the neighborhood children to our personal Alp. We built forts. We had snowball fights. We climbed to the peak and slid down again and again.

That one year, we lamented the coming of spring.

my Papa
in the basement,
his curse words

Published in Frogpond



Diary of Four Large Suitcases

My daughter and I went on a trip. We started on The Queen Elizabeth 2 and therefore needed formal as well as casual clothing. So we ended up with four large suitcases. The concern was how to deal with the suitcases as we traveled.

In London on Petticoat Lane, we found porcelain dolls which we could not resist. So, now it was four large suitcases and three large boxes of dolls.

At the London train station, the porter took us to the V.I.P. room for first class travel and then put the dolls, the suitcases, and us on a cart, and drove us to the train to Cornwall. Great!

But when we got to Plymouth, we were told ONE minute to get off. Wow!

And we made it.

Pat, (our hostess), met us with a very small car. She was startled when she saw the luggage.

We stayed at a haunted pub and the suitcases had to be carried up stairs. The girl in charge said, "no problem. I am a farmer's daughter."

Traveling back, again we found a porter who put us on the train. From Paddington, we took a cab to Heathrow.

awakened from a dream
I see on my bedroom dresser
a smiling doll
do you suppose she knew it too
the ghost of The Weary Friar Pub?

published in Lynx



The Program

Just ten inches of hair is enough to make a wig for a child who has lost her hair to chemotherapy. My nine-year-old granddaughter has beautiful, long blond hair and, when she heard about "Locks of Love," my dear Zoe decided to give. All summer she measured her hair, until she had the ten inches . . .

making a wish
she blows away
dandelion fluff

Published in Frogpond



School Days, School Days

Scott is so proud. He has just been given his first jockstrap for gym. Until he now finds out that he has to take a shower with all the boys. His mother says "what is the problem, you are all the same?" On the way home he confronts his mother. "Mom, you did not tell me the truth." And he proceeds to tell her the differences. Scott has learned that all men are not created equal.

      A caterpillar inches across the compost heap.

Published in Frogpond


Read Haibun 2



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