The Bowl He Holds

by Randy M. Brooks, Michael Dylan Welch, and Brett B. Bodemer

First published in My Neighbor’s Life (Bellevue, Washington: Laughing CyPress, 1999), edited by Kathleen P. Decker. Written 21 November 1998 at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville, California, during the Haiku Society of America 30th Anniversary Retreat, commemorated by the book. See also “Broken.”

St. Francis mission . . .

morning mist fills

the bowl he holds Randy

trailing syrup, the peach rises

on the slotted spoon Brett

a plastic igloo

on the front lawn—

the first star Michael

rope sways

inside the bell’s darkness Brett

calloused fingers

grip the udder

the flow of milk Randy

after grace

she turns over my wine glass Michael