Joey – Departed

Haibun Poetry Form, Motorcycle Ride

Haibun Poetry


Mom comes upstairs crying. Her tears run down her cheeks, her hands tremble as she collapses into a chair at our kitchen table.

“Joey’s dead. He died in a motorcycle accident.”

A numb silence follows. Suddenly I stand at the gas station he ran off Route 9 in Dobbs Ferry. His mother Lisa, my first cousin, stands next to me. We watch Joey ride off on his “cock rocket.” She bites her lip and creases her brow, worry showing on her usually frenetic, happy face.

“I’m scared, Frankie. One day he’s going to kill himself on that thing.”

Next, I’m in a pew at Sacred Heart Church in Suffern. Joey’s younger brother Mikey reads from the New Testament at my father’s funeral. But he chokes up, his voice breaking, his eyes soaked with tears. Joey steps up to Mikey’s side and rests his hand on his brother’s shoulder.

Then I’m outside an Italian Restaurant in White Plains. We all just finished celebrating Lisa’s surprise 50th birthday party—organized by Joey. I say goodbye to him as I gather my family for the drive home.

Could that be the last time I saw him alive?

my rain-splattered deck
Joey’s empty Suzuki
lying on its side


Photograph by Jaskirat Singh Bawa


Image Curve’s Manifesto


Frank J. Tassone

I fell in love with writing ever since I wrote my first short story at the age of 12 and my first poem in high school. My free-verse has appeared in the literary e-zine Pif. My haibun has been published in Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online (CHO) and Contemporary Haibun, CHO's annual print anthology. My haiku has been published by the Haiku Foundation. My senryu has been published in Failed Haiku. I regularly perform haibun and other haikai with Rockland Poets. I am honored to be a part of the Image Curve community as a contributing poet. Visit my website to see more of my poetry. Follow me on twitter @fjtassone2 and like my Facebook page American Haijin for updates on my latest work.

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