The Smuggs Chronicle – Part Three

Haibun Poetry

Third Day: August 20, 2013

A note on our windshield reads “Please don’t park in front of our home (duh!) Thank you.” Mira’s face flushes red. She soon snaps aloud about the anonymous author. I feel a numbness settle, a sign of swallowing my anger. Once we drop Frankie at camp — or slightly before — a surge of heat and trembling begin as a red-hot rage erupts, from which I shudder even as I inform guest services.

brittle, thin skin
crows peck at the entrails of
a dead squirrel

Wind on an outcrop facing Mount Mansfield refreshes. I sit Indian-style, close enough to the edge for Mira to panic. I invite her to join me.

The long ascent left us sweaty and sore. I forgot how steep the incline of the Sterling Pond trail is. The vista before us repays us in full.

Spruce, evergreen tops
slow climb of a cable car
up Mansfield

A family fishing
Away from the bustling shore
A boy casts his line
Catches a log
As his father casts his own nearby

Mira and I bite
Into a perfect plum
Gaze across the pond,
The island
Madonna Peak above

ripples
a butterfly and dragonfly
race to shore

Frankie sings the lyrics to Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive at the family karaoke. David, singing next to him, sounds monotone and off-lyric.

Until he belts out the chorus.

So loudly that Frankie lowers his mic, curls his lip into a frustrated frown as the last “radioactive” goes silent.

video cutting
a forgettable performance
this summer night

Movie on the lawn: Madagascar 3. With Larry and David. Without Mira, Larry’s wife and daughter.

starlight cinema
the struggle to find a
comfortable position

read from the beginning: Pre-Smuggs Insomnia, the Prequel

more by FRANK J. TASSONE

photograph by Will Langenberg

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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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