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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Braided Haibun: 289 words
(Also, Haibun Story)
By Peter Newton

Rosebud

 

With a name like Rosebud you’re gonna get teased. No two ways about it. Even if you go by Rose there’s the inevitable roll-call slip-up. Some substitute science teacher amused or preoccupied with a young girl named Rosebud. Especially a leather girl going for the whole Goth look.

mill town

Brains only get you so far, her mother always said. It’s the name that opens doors which is why her parents agreed on the decision to name their daughter after a sled. The highbrow will get it. The well-heeled and cultured among us will get it, Rosebud’s mother argued. Her father thought she might be better off going by the suffix of her name. A novelty act. Like a boy named Sue. They wrote a song about that guy. Made Johnny Cash a pile of it. Why not a girl named Bud.

a burned-out movie house

Rosebud’s father was one of those hopeless types—as in, quick to carry his heart on his sleeve like any Boy Scout proud of his patches. Truth is, she liked the prefix and the suffix of herself. She grew to be grateful for her cynically romantic parents. She liked being famous for a few seconds upon first meeting someone. Having never heard of a person named Rosebud the new acquaintance inevitably would launch into a series of questions. She was a walking icebreaker. This made her feel powerful. And because she refused to watch the film from which her name derived she felt reckless and above the fray at the same time. What she knew about the origin of her name was this: it had been whispered to her from the beginning like a secret.

at its heart

Peter Newton
Issue 12, March 2022

lives in Vermont where he works as a full-time stained glass artist. He is the author of several books in the Japanese short form tradition including What We Find (haiku); Welcome to the Joy Ride (haibun), which won a 2014 Merit Book Award for the Best Book of Haibun from the Haiku Society of America; A Path of Desire (tan renga with Kathe L. Palka); The Searchable World (haiku), which won First Place in the 2018 Merit Book Awards from the Haiku Society of America; Part-Time Gods (haibun), winner of the Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for haibun in 2021; and Glide Path (haiku), due to be published in 2022.

 
 
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