At War with Ghosts by J. Todd Hawkins

We wrestle all night with them, actually. Throw them against the walls and watch them slide down to the hotel carpet, pooling in the shadows before reforming again. We have been here before, but never here exactly. We have been traveling too long, remembering too much. These strains of others’ blues coat us like road dust.

rinsing my son’s hair
white soap spins down the drain
away from me

In the morning, we are to another cemetery, passing again through the old iron gate. We read our names on the markers, the names of our children. We trace the bas relief lambs, the skyward-pointing fingers, the bouquets of stone lilies snaking around stone trees. We wander among them, a family of lost Lazaruses.

For, I recall, Lazarus too was both alive and dead, neither alive nor dead. And Jesus wept before bringing him back, not because he was dead, but because he would die again.

dew on granite
even headstones in this place

Professional editor J. Todd Hawkins writes and lives in Texas. His haiku, haibun, and haiga have appeared in AGNI, The Louisville Review, Bayou Magazine, Sakura Review, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku and Haiga, bottle rockets, Haibun Today, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a collection of Mississippi Delta-inspired haibun. He holds an MA in Technical Communication, loves the blues, and routinely loses to his wife at Mortal Kombat while the kids sleep.