Monday, February 1, 2016


image by Gabriella @dVerse Poets


“There ain’t no way you can hold onto someone that wants
to go--so just love what you got while you got it.”
--Kate DiCamillo.

I paused, stopping my battered pick up. The Chev V-8 idled
roughly, the glass packs popped and rumbled. The gray
overcast sky looked ominous--it was probably going to rain.

There it was, the crumbling stone bridge over Owl Creek, here
at the head of Oak Lane. Once I cross it, as I had a thousand
times, there will be no turning back, no return trip to the home
I built with my own hands, to my wife of twelve years, to my
three sons who were my joy--all of which who stood on our
front porch as I pushed past them carrying a battered leather
suitcase & a moldy duffel bag.

My Betty was stone-faced, her cheeks still wet with tears. Luke
& Carl were little men, standing silently, staring at the boards
beneath them--but Buddy was only five. He reached out to me
as his mother held his tiny shoulders, blubbering, “Daddy, don’t
go, please, we still love you.”

I turned the red truck back toward the house, as my own tears
clouded my eyes.

If a man lets his
pride and anger overrule
his heart, all is lost.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Mary said...

I like the story you told, Glenn; and so very true. Sometimes people have to learn to set aside pride, no matter how difficult it is. I am glad this man turned around, and I doubt he will regret his decision.

Gabriella said...

Such wisdom in your haiku. It is very easy to be captive to one's pride, and yet it is also so stupid. The photos, whatever thet were, seem to have triggered stories of loss and separation.

Toni Spencer said...

And this is the beauty of senryu - wisdom like this can be imparted that tell the whole story. I am glad he went back. Now I am curious as to what caused such a temper tantrum and the willingness to leave, about the young boy who said, we still love you. Still, in spite of all. Apparently that old bridge whispered in his ear to go back. My mother had such a temper. She said that many times, if it had not been for me, she would have left everyone behind - a tortured and free spirited artist - my father was the gentle one. This haibun held me from beginning to end and then to again read. So many different takes on this beautiful stone bridge!

Kate Mia said...

SonG oF JFK.. then..
lOnely Mother.. '63..
two children.. Yes..
Valor glory way..
lOnely stone
cut bridge
life streams
on.. SonG
oF mY
then too..
father worship
by three year
old boy..
one sister..
Father.. No..
wants Money..
leaves early..
Son lEarns..
never care
money and
little heARt
then.. at 81..
Son Lives
wITh Tons

Hi.. Daddy..
InHeRiT aLL..;)

SPend heARt..

lesSon multiPLies


Thanks Daddy..

De said...

This one got me straight in the gut, Glenn. And I loves me some Kate Dicamillo.

Grace said...

Well I was happy that he had a change of heart Glenn ~ But I was also wondering what made him decide to leave in the first place ~ I like the imagery of that bridge, that some journeys are made, with no turning back ~

Carol Campbell said...

Those haunting moments when we realize that we have made a bad choice and probably hurt those closest to us. Powerful piece!

Victoria said...

This really conjures up an emotional response, Glenn--with the ending I wanted. I like how the bridge became such a compelling metaphor.

Bodhirose said...

Many a relationship has been lost because of pride. It takes courage and strength to have some humility and be the one to reach out and mend what is broken. Great use of that bridge photo, Glenn.

glacial caramel(s) said...

You always open your poems with the best quotes, Glenn! I really love that; it's such a treat every time I visit. ~That, and opening up your magnificent brain.

From "My Betty" down, you really gut-punched me. So much truth here. I was certain the speaker was leaving for sure, but I'm so glad he turned around. Pride will definitely destroy us all, if we let it. There's always ample opportunity to "turn the truck around."

brudberg said...

I really love how you summarized that wisdom in the senryu... how the narrative came to that good conclusion... there where such similarities between yours and Mary's stories, even though the result became different.

vivinfrance said...

Your haiku says everything it should. Another sad take on this photograph.

TrishWrites said...

heart wrenching and lovely story

Sherry Blue sky said...

Oh I am so glad he turned back! Who could resist that five year old? said...

"Luke & Carl were little men, standing silently, staring at the boards
beneath them..." This line is heartbreaking. The story is so well related...the bridge this time, would mean leaving so very much behind. I'm glad he turns his truck back.
The haiku is a lesson to live by -- for men and women.
Excellent.....again. :)

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Much truth here. I'm glad of the happy ending. And I liked the symbolism of the bridge.

lynn__ said...

Powerful emotions and wisdom in this haibun, Glenn. I was relieved when he turned the truck back toward the house, toward those who still love him. Many relationships have been broken irreparably when men/women let pride and rage rule them.

Anonymous said...

After the moving scene on the porch, I was relieved that he turned back. Thank goodness for remind of us significant crossings we may regret. I really enjoyed this.