Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Selected Haibun: The (Mostly) True Story of My School Days

It was the first day of school, and I waited by the community gate, keeping an eye out  for any sign of the school bus’ arrival. My mother held my hand so tightly that I felt  as if I were chained to a lamppost.

“Mom, what time is it? When will the school bus come? Will Uncle Bus Driver forget to  pick me up? Mother, did you tell the school …,” my mother interrupted my rambling and  looked me in the eye, saying, “Son, you need to be patient. Just wait for the bus. I  contacted the school a month ago and made sure that they would pick you up once school  starts. Don’t you want to spend more time with me now?”

“Yes, I want to be with you. But, Mom, I just don’t want to miss my first day of  school. Hsing-hsing always tells me that there is a lot of fun stuff in the school. I  like to play ...,” “Honk! Honk!” Upon hearing the arrival of the school bus, I was so  eager and ready to shake off the grip of my mother’s hand and rush inside.

a box of crayons
in the pool of sunlight
a circle of kids

When I got back home that afternoon, I could barely stop talking about my day. My  mother kept nodding her head with a smile as I regaled her with my stories.

The next morning, my mother woke me and said, “It’s time for school.” I looked at her  in a cheerful mood and asked, “Mother, does it happen again?” Pausing for a moment with  tears welling up in the edges of her eyes, my mother replied, “Yes, you’ll have another  happy day in school.”

Haibun Today, 10:3, September 2016