The morning sun shone on Nana’s table, tucked against a wall in her narrow kitchen. There was barely room for two straight-backed chairs, where my brother and I sat and ate our cereal. She let us end breakfast with a cookie, which filled us with glee—after getting one, we would beg for another.
During our August visits, spare beds were set up in her room. She snored all night, rumbling like the freight trains passing through. Between the two, I wondered if I would ever sleep again.
Around us, Nana kept her German sternness in check. She proudly quoted poems she learned in high school, always ending with that storied line from Julius Caesar—delivered with a stare, a wink, and a grin that made me giddy without knowing why.
A California resident and poet for more than 40 years, Cynthia Anderson is the author
of eleven books. Her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies, and
she has received multiple nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. In
2020, she took up short-form poetry including haiku, senryu, cherita, haibun, and split
sequences. Her recent work focuses on the natural world and her family history.
Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets
on Crows & Ravens (Green Poet Press). She makes her home in the Mojave Desert
near Joshua Tree National Park.
Author’s website: www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com
Formerly Known as Ion, haibun by Cynthia Anderson which was
nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon Anthologies, and selected for publication in
Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).