Barns Leaning into the Wind
I am driving down a country road when a dark figure stumbles across my headlights. Slamming my brakes, I skid to a stop, just a foot away from a man-boy wearing a torn T-shirt and jeans. He is disheveled, almost skeletal. He slams his hands on my car hood, stares at me, eyes like Vantablack – blackest of black – and for a moment I am lost in his world, barefoot, running across a field of snow, running from who he was or wants to be. I jump when he slams my hood again. He leans toward me. Red dots and bruises run up and down his pale arms. I gun my engine. He curses, jumps across the ditch, and scuttles into the dark.
Chris Bays lives on the outskirts of an Audubon-sanctioned reserve in Ohio. When not recovering from a long night of screech owls, he is grading college students' essays or gallivanting around the country with family. His haiku and haibun have appeared in Contemporary Haibun Online, Frogpond, Haibun Today, Modern Haiku and other journals here and abroad. Some years back, Silenced Press nominated him for Best New Poets.