ebony mirage –
white stars and red paint,
hawk feather paintbrush

— Jean Detjen

No photo description available.
Artwork by drawingtenthousandbirds

I wrote this (deeper than I thought it would be) haiku two winters ago while lying down with a bag of ice on the back of my head over matted hair covered in blood. This was the second time I’ve been surprised at the sight of bright red blood on my fingers after slipping on black ice in my own driveway. The first time I needed stitches under my chin in the ER, this time I was a bit luckier (though very achy after such a hard fall). 

When I was about 5 or 6, I suffered a wicked fall on ice as a while skating on a creek in my backyard.  My horribly broken leg caused many months of physical and emotional misery. I remember being afraid that I would slip on my crutches and re-injure myself. My mother recalls that winter as one where I withdrew and was very sad.

Ice can certainly look beautiful but can also be a devilish trickster. As a result of the injury just before I wrote this haiku, I suffered over a year of chronic pain from concussion and whiplash. Is writing a poem about something that has hurt you multiple times making peace with it? Maybe. Perhaps I ought to do more writing about other things I need to forgive and find out.


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