The first time I knew you served was the day you tried to kill me. You didn’t mean to, but I didn’t know that at the time. What I did was tap you on the shoulder when I walked into the office. The floor was pile-carpeted and I was wearing rubber-soled shoes. You had your back to me. You spun around on one heel quick as a querled lariat. I don’t know who got the biggest shock. Later, all you said (your tone a tad querulous) was, Don’t ever come up behind me, ever. I won’t be responsible for what happens. Then you clammed up closer than an unshucked quahog. The bruises were visible for weeks. You have big, strong hands. People noticed. My quandary was that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, explain to anyone what had happened. Now, before I walk into a room anywhere on campus I stop, and whistle a few bars of “Yankee Doodle.”
the chuff of choppers
out of Kabul
is a retired botanist and science journalist who has lived in Canberra, Australia with her family for more than four decades. A photography enthusiast and keen world traveller, she is a late-comer to haiku. Her poetry and artworks appear in international journals, have been featured on Japanese television, and have won awards in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
To learn more, see Ms. McGregor’s
Poet Profile at The Haiku Foundation.