First Loss

teddy bear on the ground in front of a house

The sky-blue Teddy bear towered over me. Charcoal eyes and nose, friendly smile: my parents nestled me in its arms.

Mom told me how much I loved that Teddy. One day, the window of my room, which looked out on a sewer grate, opened during a storm. Wet leaves, mud and soaked mulch buried my bear.

When I was a toddler, I finger-painted this first loss at a day care center in Tarrytown. The shape of Teddy’s head and ear can just be made out from the chaotic mess of colors that covered the rest of him.

piles of leaves
our son’s own blue teddy
left behind

Photo by Trym Nilsen

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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