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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Haibun Story: 195 words
(Also, braided haibun)
By Lew Watts

Gifts of the Lord


one more christening ...
a splash of holy water
from the hip flask

There’s the oldest, Josie. Must be eight by now. Oh, and the baby’s walking. Grandparents must be happy, having them back. Been cleaning up the yard all week. Had the table set up yesterday. Oh great, still some left.

votive candles

“Had to raise the price,” their mother says. “Josie’s idea. Says it’s inflation.” Each painted rock is now two dollars. Josie holds one up, reminds me it’s for a good cause. Tells me to think about all the work.

this pent-up urge

I recognize Owen’s straight away. Color blind. His older sister, Mary, is still in her black cross and sunset phase. Then there’s the twins’ abstracts, cross-hatched in yellow and red. I reach for my wallet.

to haggle

“What’s that, at the back?” I ask, lifting a larger, gray stone. Limestone, probably washed in from the north. I see fragments of fossils. And in the center a large shell, so perfect its mother-of-pearl is preserved. “That’s ten dollars,” Josie says, as I raise my eyes. “God painted it.”

scrubbing graffiti
from the seminary wall ...
in nominibus patrum

Lew Watts
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of Tick-Tock, a haibun collection that received an Honorable Mention in the Haiku Society of America’s 2020 Merit Book Awards, and Eira, a collection of haiku that received a 2023 Touchstone Award; both books are from Snapshot Press. Lew is also the co-author, with Roberta Beary and Rich Youmans, of Haibun: A Writer’s Guide (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2023). He is the haibun co-editor of Frogpond and holds an honorary doctorate from Bristol University. Born and raised in Wales, he now lives in Chicago with his wife, Roxanne Decyk. His other passions are fly fishing and gin martinis.

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