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Haibun by Paul Beech

#Haiku Happenings #9: Charlotte Digregorio presents a #haibun by Paul Beech!

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

This haibun tells the true story of my very beginnings in post-war Lancashire…

The Prayer Book

My middle bookshelf groans under the weight though the tiny diesel engine, boxed starting pistol, and boxed prayer book piled at the end add little to it.

The diesel engine and starting pistol are mementos from my 1950s boyhood in a Lancashire cotton and colliery town. The prayer book, in red leather with gold lettering, was a christening present from an aunt and uncle in August ’47.

My second christening, that is. My first was four months earlier in the hospital where I’d just been born.

                             a copybook hand

                             the fading scars

                             of war

April ’47. Within the snowbound hospital, a young ex-serviceman and his wife pray over an incubator, beyond tears now. Their first-born, a victim of the gastro-enteritis epidemic, is close to death and a priest has been sent…

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