One of 60,000 Stories

Haibun Poems, One of 60,000 Stories

Haibun Poem


“Da menos tu hija! La queremos para nueva reigna!”

He shouted outside our house. We saw him from the window. I shuddered at the sight of his tattoos. His friends laughed. I knew what he wanted: A gang queen. A girl like me to rape over and over again, until they were finished. A girl like me whose throat they would then slice open.

and whose body they would leave on the street.

red sunset
blood mixing
with the dirt

Madre spent her last peso to hire the coyote. He was a squat, muscular middle-aged man that reaked of tequila and onions. He led me to the others. Ninos and Ninas younger than me. He herded us into the back of a dusty and banged-up delivery truck and covered us in canvas sheets. I won’t speak of the days sweating through my only shirt, the very air so stale and hot under the canvas we all dared not throw off. Or of the nights when he came and pulled me away from the others.

“Da me la concha, puta! You think your mother paid me enough? I’ll leave you right here!”

Harvest Moon
in the night, two squirming shadows
one muffled cry

We somehow ended up on the bus that reached the border of Los Estados Unidos. A mob of Blancos massed there, surrounding us. Many held signs. I could not read English, so I asked a woman seated nearby to read one. “’Return to sender,’” she answered.

The mob screamed. One woman spit at my window. I covered my face so she wouldn’t see my tears.

But I couldn’t cover my ears to not hear the other children crying.

sunrise, far away
“Give me your poor, huddled masses”


Photograph by Craig Cloutier


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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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2 Responses

  1. Lucas Howard says:

    I can recognise your style now, without reading your name. Distinctive.

  2. Frank J. Tassone says:

    Thanks, Lucas!

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