This life: a love story


The haibun is a form of storytelling popular in Japan. It combines narrative text with 3-line haiku.. I tell my love story as text combined with poetry – cherita and the occasional long form. This life: a love story tells what came before After You.

Here is one poem from it:


It’s a small wooden box-

stencilled with flowers and the town’s name in white-

Santa Margherita de Ligure

A souvenir so I would remember  

a village pinned by sun to a hillside.

Forgive me. I have forgotten even

the unfamiliar light

recalling only you

and how gently you placed this gift in my hands, 

like a poem or a promise,

as if it were fragile.

and here is a sample of the text

………..We knew the farm would have to be sold sooner or later. Arthur had bought it and willed it to Jack, a millionaire’s house that needed a millionaire ’s purse to run. Five years later, the time had come and the estate was sold to a conglomerate of New York business men.

One day, looking about for the last time, I opened a cupboard in a seldom used room. On the top shelf , there was a familiar green box . It was like glimpsing the face of a friend in a crowd on a foreign street. My school lunch box, the one I’d filled with cookies and shipped off to Jack in the South Pacific seventeen years ago.

Lifting the battered lid I found inside, wedged in the corner, the miraculous medal with our initials engraved on it.

I asked him about them that evening.. I said I was surprised he still had them.

‘Do you think you were the only one who could love so much?’ he asked me.

And I said ‘yes’.

from This Life: a love story

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