A Birthday

It was the same village
The same hotel and
The same meal (sausage and chips)
But she wasn’t there

Had I been trying to bring her back? I wonder now as I think back
I can’t even remember how old I was
No more than ten or eleven
She died when I was eight

Drowned in the river
The same river of that same village where
We ate our birthday tea in that hotel 

Sorry I couldn’t 
Bring you a soothing cheerful
Birthday party tale

I wasn’t unhappy at the time, just chasing memories:
My heart remembering it now.

Written for the dVerse prompt: Haibun on a memorable birthday.

To connect with others dealing with grief and bereavement, I recommend the following blogs:

Bereaved and being a single parent

The Grief Reality

18 thoughts on “A Birthday

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  1. “Had I been trying to bring her back? I wonder now as I think back” I think you know the answer to your question. My condolences to you in the loss of your loved one.

  2. I think we long for everything to be the “same” again as we grieve. The repetitiveness in your poem captures that feeling. A very sad and moving haibun.

  3. Your haibun is so full of sorrow, Ingrid. Going back to the same hotel, village and river must have been incredibly hard to do. I’ve not read a haiku that said sorry before – it’s poignant even without the prose to explain what happened, and I was expecting at least one sad birthday tale. I am so sorry for your loss, the grief never goes away, but we understand it better as we get older. Writing about it is a helpful balm. .

    1. It certainly is! Thank you for your kind words. I find writing incredibly soothing and healing. At the time of the party, I think I was still numb from the loss. Over time you come to confront it and then come to terms with it, as best you can.

  4. This is so clear, lucid and sad. No breast beating, tearing of hair, just the dull, unanswerable questions. beautiful work. I hope it helps to sooth the sadness.

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