Food for Thought
My two young daughters and I are at the grocery checkout. Ahead is a homeless woman of indeterminate age, a fixture in the neighborhood for years. Stooped, hair in disarray, teeth in need of more than a good brushing, she is wearing multiple layers of clothing, several more than necessary for the warm fall weather. She keeps glancing through the glass storefront at the shopping cart full of her stuff that is chained to a No Parking sign.
between her groceries and mine
a wooden bar
One at a time, she places sixteen cans of cat food, a box of crackers, a box of tea bags and a couple of bars of soap on the counter. Short of money, she puts the soap aside. The girls look at me expectantly, barely able to restrain themselves until we reach the parking lot. The woman and her cart are already quite a ways up the street.
‘Pretty bad choices, eh, dad?’ asks my younger. ‘She is so poor. As if she spends most of her money on food for her cat.’
We are most of the way home before they get the implications of my response: ‘But she doesn’t own a cat.’
wearing my plaid shirt
cool fall evening
by Ignatius Fay (Canada)
GENJUAN International Haibun Contest 2019, Honorable Mention
Ignatius Fay, a retired invertebrate paleontologist, writes haiku, tanka, haibun, tanka prose and rengay. His poems have appeared in many of the most respected online and print journals. In 2012, he co-authored a collection of poems, entitled Breccia, with Irene Golas. He is the current editor of the Haiku Society of America Bulletin and does the layout for the HSA’s journal Frogpond. Ignatius resides in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.