Thank you so much Ian Storr for including this haibun in Presence 71. Grateful to share the page with such wonderful work.
The Beaten Path
It’s after 7pm and the heat’s finally dissipated enough to consider taking a jog around the Basilica of San Giovanni. In August the air quality isn’t too bad since most Romans drive their diesel out of the city for a few weeks of polluting elsewhere. So I lace up my sneakers and head out.
Stations of the Cross
Pausing at a light, a white electric Fiat pulls up next to me. The driver gets out and waves, saying something about a man he saw following me for the last few blocks. The walk sign is on but I’m still on the curb trying to understand the driver's thick regional dialect.
after each stop
I ask where the man is now and he points down the street behind us. The driver steps onto the sidewalk. He says I need to be careful. He offers to give me a ride home.
a candle blown out
~Lorraine A Padden