Curtis Dunlap, US




Free Verse



They sit in a booth made for two,
thin, frail, toothless. . .
he, in bib overalls and a tattered flannel shirt,
she, in a faded blue dress and yellowed sweater,
dining on grilled cheese sandwiches and hush puppies,
drinking sweet iced tea out of styrofoam cups,
surrounded by a lunch crowd
on platefuls of Carolina pork barbecue
(the scent of hickory-smoked meat thick in the air).

She takes a paper napkin, reaches across the table,
wipes a spot of ketchup
from the corner of his mouth;
he smiles, winks,
stops the waitress,
orders two spoons
and a single-serving of banana pudding.
Their hands, spotted with age,
join in the center of the table;
their backs
curved by time
into a perfect bow.





Curtis Dunlap
lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. He has been published in several anthologies and journals including Frogpond, The Heron's Nest, Magnapoets, Modern Haiku, A New Resonance 5: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, Simply Haiku, The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, red lights, Ribbons, and Valley Voices. This is his first appearance in Sketchbook.

He was awarded the Museum of Haiku Literature Award in 2008 and 3rd Prize in the 11th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition in 2006. His web site is located at





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