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On Your Leaving, a haibun by Edward Alley

On Your Leaving
by Edward Alley

The sun-filled clouds glow red, shadowing power lines. Barren trees denote the season. One tree, disfigured with carvings and disease, its life threatened, persists. A train roars through my head. A light slants through darkness, as your life flits past our observation car. Time and times clatter with the rhythm of ties binding steel and earth. A conductor whistles, punches tickets, helps passengers find their way. A church with hesitant spire trembles in the wind. A burned out semi dominates an auto graveyard, its bass horn mute. As the sun sets, the train shudders to a stop, brakes sigh, the end of the line.


From Edward Alley: “'On Your Leaving' was written in tribute to my best friend of 20 years, who died in August 2014. I wrote the poem on a train trip to Tucson, Arizona, as I observed what flashed by in the window. I am a retired United Methodist minister who spent the past 35 years of my work life counseling people in distress. I believe the listening writing skills I learned there apply to the craft of poetry.”