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Haiku Classic: Oct. 2, 2022 -- Force of habit

fence fallen away

    I close the rusted gate

    behind me


    Yvonne Hardenbrook (1928-2017). From "The Red Moon Anthology 1996," Red Moon Press, Virginia, USA (edited by Jim Kacian), 1997.

    It is not immediately clear whether the poet is out in the countryside on a farm and on foot, walking or hiking, whether they have driven up to a gate in their car and stopped to open it, or whether the gate is simply that to their own house. As an Australian my first thought was that this was an open paddock and the poet had driven up to the gate. Even though the fence around that gate had fallen down, perhaps for miles stretching away, the fact that the poet was in a car meant that the gate needed to be opened and shut again. If she were on foot then she could just have walked around it. The kernel of the poem remains the same though, even if the scale is reduced to the garden gate to a house. The reason for the gate's existence no longer exists but still we humans continue in our habits.

    Selected and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay



    Pique your poetic interest with more Haiku in English here.

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