Curtis Dunlap, US
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;
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