WEEKLY FLASH PROSE AND PROSE POETRY: "Springtime Haibun" by Robert Lee

Springtime Haibun

by Robert Lee

Spring is a here I am, now I’m gone event in Western Montana. It is a drawn-out affair as tumultuous and capricious as a marriage on the tenacious, twisting, path toward eventual divorce. Spring is a February flirt. A day or two of sun and snowmelt, and then,  That’s it! I’m out of here. Good luck finding someone to keep you warm, followed two weeks later by,  Wait! I’m back. Please embrace me. Look, I’ve brought birds—Bohemian Wax Wings. They fly like Ferlinghetti’s poems; They are sky dancers with Andy Warhol as god  and choreographer. Dozens will  swoop down to decorate your Mountain Ash, devour those fermented orange berries and fall to the vanishing snow, drunk as poets. Feral cats feast. Soon, it’s mid-March, the Ides, and Spring slams the door once more. Color me gone. Let the damn winds blow. How about another foot of snow? Our world is cold and empty until the shifty imp returns, this time carrying crocuses, yellow and purple and white and orange, fragile little beauties but low enough to the ground to evade March  lion’s breath—until snows bury them and Spring leaves the scene once more, Sorry, it’s not working. I’m just not ready. This time, loneliness sets in, seems an eternity. April comes and brings more snow. It’s almost May when Spring sneaks back, vibrant now, sap running high, showers us with tulips, rouses us with robins’ songs, startles us with the inharmonious harmony of geese working northward—into the teeth of one last tempest. Why can’t those lawyers set a date? I’ve had enough. We’re done!

            Only humans dare

            place seasons on calendars

            nature does not read.


About the Author:

Robert Lee is the author of Guiding Elliott (Lyons Press 1997), reissued in paper back by Mountain Press 2013. His poetry chapbook Black Bear Holds a Hole in His Paws was inspired by three autumns spent as writer in residence in Hydaburg, Alaska for the Missoula Writing Collaborative (M.W.C.). His poetry collection, Breath, was published in September 2018 by Foothills Press. Robert has taught for M.W.C. for over twenty years. His work has appeared in the anthologies New Montana Storiesand Poems Across the Big Sky I & IIMontana Magazine, and in numerous literary journals including CutBank. Robert is a tutor for the Writing and Public Speaking Center at the University of Montana. He resides in Missoula, Montana with his bride, the lovely Rosemary Lynch.

About Weekly Flash Prose and Prose Poetry:

CutBank Online features one work of flash prose or prose poetry every Monday. Submissions are free and open year-round. Send us your best work of 750 words or less at https://cutbank.submittable.com/submit