Emily’s Song


Emily’s Song

a Haibun

It’s 2 AM and the sound of tea pouring into my ceramic mug hurls me back thirty-some years. The old lady stands on tiptoe, touches her weathered lips to my then-youthful cheek. I catch the scent of Yardley’s lavender and, in the background, a hint of cinnamon. As I enter her 1930’s home, the far wall of her living room catches my attention. Shelves, painted yellow, are lined with books and photos.

She goes to brew our pot of tea while I scan the titles and pictures. My eye catches sight of a young couple, standing arm-in-arm, circa the early 40’s. He’s wearing the uniform of an Army Air Corps pilot. In the background a child is tossing rice at them. A second photo shows them driving off in an old convertible bearing a “Just Married” sign on the trunk, and another, a very pregnant Emily holding a balsawood model of a WWII bomber.

“Those are my stories,” she says, entering the room. I won’t bore you with them. And she didn’t, as over the years we spend time sharing her life and a cup of tea—the stories of a World War II bride. And widow.

the room enfolds me
warmed by tea, infused with light
she shares her stories

Written and shared with Sanaa Rizvi and folks at Prompt Nights.