Haibun: A Dry July – a poem by Kathryn MacDonald


The woods stand brittle-dry. Leaves curl, falling prematurely. Rain has failed throughout this arid July. Across the fields, dust devils spiral over spots void of clover. Hardy Ox-eye Daisies (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) – white against purple Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare) – bloom in fencerows and wood’s edge, unaffected. My eyes hurt with dryness; my mind clamours over symbols of death and snakes. Poplar leaves tremble by the farm pond, seek their felted undersides that would foretell rains’ approach. Another dusk. In the dwindling light, a slender doe with fawn, approaches the pond, her ears erect, listening. My breath catches in mirage-light. Slowly, they descend the gentle slope where frogs croak, red-wing blackbirds settle for the night, and I swallow a silent breath.

In mid-summer drought
Doe and fawn discover pond
Frogs croak rousing cheer

Kathryn MacDonald’s poetry has been published in literary journals in Canada, the U.S., England, and Ireland. Her poem “Seduction” was short-listed for the 2019 Freefall Poetry Contest. She is the author of A Breeze You Whisper (poems, 2011) and Calla & Édourd (fiction, 2009). Website: https://KathrynMacDonald.com.

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