#Publication Alert: Haibun Today: A Haibun & Tanka Prose Journal

Happy to again appear in Haibun Today 12:1 March 2018! Thank you, Ray Rasmussen!

Frank J. Tassone
Montebello, New York, USA

Breathless Vanity

Mom never left the house without looking immaculate. She would put on makeup, style her hair, and wear the best outfit just to pick up a carton of cigarettes. Even when I took her to Nyack Hospital’s emergency room, she made herself up right before we left.

After a week in acute care, she was discharged, but within days was rushed back into emergency. Now she lies on a hospital gurney. Her hair sticks out in every direction. She wears no make-up or classy clothes—only a hospital gown.

This morning, her eyes are too dry for tears. Her mouth quivers from exhaustion. Her bruised left arm is crumpled tissue paper after two weeks of IV insertions. Her attending physician tells me that she has double pneumonia.

Finally, the time came when she was supposed to come home. Now I wonder, will she ever?

rain-pelted window
her new roommate’s
untended moans

Note: “Breathless Vanity” is a revision of “Another Emergency Room Check-in” which first appeared in Image Curve on January 12, 2017.
— Read on haibuntoday.com/ht121/H_Tassone_Breathless.html


Categories: haikai

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20 replies »

  1. Very hard to “like” this well-penned poem that is so heartbreaking and so familiar to me having recently gone through this with my mom and, before that, for many years as an RN in the field of death and dying. The apparent detachment of the haiku betrays deep pain, implied in the sole word “untended.” I don’t know if this is current, but, if so, my thoughts are with you. BTW, my mom and your mom must have had the same upbringing: 2 hours daily to “put on her face.” :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so moving. I echo Victoria’s comments having recently gone through this with my mama who died in June 2017. She had a lingering death and suffered grestky. My mother had beautiful skin and no wrinkles. She rarely wore makeup but was always immaculate in her appearsnce. It was sad to watch this fading as she suffered. Like you I do well except on the days I don’t. The pain in this haibu n and haiku are apparent. I am so sorry you had to go through this.

    Liked by 1 person

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