Wednesday Haibun

In year 3, we had Mrs P. I loved her and wanted her to love me. I took her gifts of apples, flowers and stories of my home life. Her skirts were the nesting grounds of a dozen cheeping girls.

In year 4 we had Miss K. Together we buried the word “nice” in the school garden. She looked jubilant, her yellow curls acting Shirley Temple in the breeze. “Nice is boring,” she conducted, hands hovering above us, as we crowded around the small grave. “I never want to see it in your writing again.”

She wore earth tones – a wrap around skirt with a geometric design in yellows, oranges and deep reds. Her earrings were dangly and ceramic. Her favourite word was effective. Certain colours together were effective. Preparing lunch the night before was effective.

Doing times tables drills was effective. She had a wooden metre ruler and she pointed at the grid squares, bouncing it in time with our chanting. “One seven is seven. Two sevens are fourteen. Three sevens are twenty one.” Standing to attention with the linoleum desk edge pressed into my thighs, I didn’t feel anything at all.

 weeding the overgrown garden
             a plastic brush the dusky pink of a bald mouse
       the evening breeze washes my forehead

Written for Go Dog Go Cafe Wednesday Haibun

10 thoughts on “Wednesday Haibun

  1. Yikes. I don’t know how much I’d appreciate being made to be effective. But you told this really, really well. And I especially love the verse at the end. What a fantastic image: a plastic brush the dusky pink of a bald mouse
    So good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, you’re right. Although at the time, I worshipped Mrs P and felt nothing for Miss K, it is Miss K who has stuck in my memory. I can’t really tell you anything about Mrs P now. And I was in her class for a full year, where as we moved to Jakarta half way through year 4.


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