Haiku Memoir–a reblog from a friend

The following blog is from my Haiku Room friend Jenny Douglas whom I met through AROHO. It is such a powerful series of haikus–and a great example of the healing powers of the Haiku Room:

Let Me Tell You What I Remember, Mr. Gordon:

A Haiku Memoir

by Jenny Douglas

My teacher chose me.

He, thirty-three; me, fourteen.

His beard, my young neck.

Twenty-eight letters

you wrote to me; to protect

you, I destroyed them.

I babysat for

your kids; you drove me home, turned

off the car, waited.

A box, your thumb, words:

“Here’s something I made for you.”

Puka shell choker.

I never wore it.

Classmates would inquire.

You were mystified.

“Best Body,” you wrote

on the blackboard, then my name.

My eighth grade name.

“Let’s meet this weekend,”

you suggested one Friday.

Flattered and panicked.

I spent Saturday

terrified you’d call and my

mother would answer.

Oh, to be needed!

As you—a grown man—seemed to

need me. (So I went.)

Spaghetti boundaries.

Other girls would have said “no.”

But you could push mine.

I did tell someone:

my English teacher, she was

only twenty-four.

“I think you’re being used,”

she said; a foreign language.

So the days went on.

This under your breath:

“You’re stabbing me in the heart.”

Outside study hall.

After school each day

I’d weep alone, then pinch my

cheeks and cry, “Hi, Mom!”

I ripped your letters

up, and threw them out onto the

Shuto Expressway.

My friend remembers,

“Your hair fell out in 8th grade.”

I forgot that part.

Telling you his name

still feels like a betrayal

after all these years.

My child died and I

met my woman years before

her time. I liked her.

Would you judge me if

I told you I loved him? I

Miss the me he saw.

Years later, I asked

my teacher, “Why?” He said it

was for my own good.

This I can now say

(after all these years):

“I am innocent.”

The cave calls to me

airless and dark. Here is where

I will learn to breathe.

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