NaPoWriMo, Day 12: Winter’s End

Photo source: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Prompt: “Today’s (optional) prompt picks up from our craft resource. We’ve challenged you to tackle the haibun in past years, but it’s such a fun one, we couldn’t resist again. Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun. Happy writing!”

 

Winter’s End

Fog. The landscape is wrapped in a shroud. Ghost trees rush to the window, their appearance sudden, alarming. Ninja trees, skeletal arms clawing at the passing train. We slow down for a moment, long enough to observe a freakishly large crow plunge its beak in the snow over and over, pull out clumps of grass, fling them over its head. A gravedigger. A purveyor of unwanted truths. Wisdom in the shape of a bird, sucked back into the fog as the train increases its speed.

Why this crow, why now, when the contours of what’s waiting ahead are blurred at best? When the nevermores are replacing the what-ifs with staggering speed?

Perhaps all it was doing was building a nest. Perhaps it will raise a family right there on the snowy bank, where anyone can see it, shoot it, imagine it larger than life. Most likely, that entirely ordinary, lacking in supernatural qualities, crow was simply reaching for some hapless mouse, half-frozen in the snow. A keen, glossy beak seeking, finding, a welcome sheath.

I could leave, whisk my
shadow along, or help you
bury this body.

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