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Per Diem Archive: T. French Feb. 2014, The Highest Branches

The Highest Branches

On the graphic of a Family tree a person usually puts themselves at the top with parents beneath, and grandparents under them. These three generations are in effect the "highest branches" on the tree.

The haiku for this month mentions directly or alludes to the relationship and memories associated with parents and grandparents. Some of these are nostalgic in nature, some refer to present day relationships, some have comforting tones, some are more melancholy in nature.

When reading the work of others, it is almost always these haiku centered around family that touch me most profoundly. I hope that the readers of Per Diem will also feel this way about my selection.

Author: Katherine Cudney
I am the age
my father never was
spring planting
Author: Laurence Stacey
arguing healthcare
my father forgets
his blood pressure  
Author: Bill Kenney
gay wedding
his father gave him away
years ago
Author: Nick Virgilio
my father and I
quarreling face to face
exchange breath
Author: Alan S. Bridges
planting season all these tubes coming out of him
Author: Robyn Hood Black
robin’s egg blue
how my father would have loved
my son
Author: Kirsten Cliff Elliot
brush strokes—
the mother
I’ll never be
Author: Susan Constable
Mother’s Day
most of our verbs
in past tense
Author: Merrill Ann Gonzales
her silence
enters the granite
of her sons’ headstones
Author: Claire Everett
the childhood
my mother glosses over. . .
black ice
Author: Margaret Dornaus
soapsuds ...
mother tells me how
she’d like to die
Author: Lauren Mayhew
Mother’s Day
still unwrapping
the lies she told me
Author: Ernesto P. Santiago
over the loom
a spider weaves
with grandma
Author: J. Zimmerman
grandma’s kitchen the silver polish smells of moonlight
Author: Devin Harrison
grandma’s birthday-
counting the rings
on her aged fingers
Author: Aubrie Cox Warner
first serial publication
grandma asks
when I started drinking
Author: Geethanjali Rajan
hearing aid—
grandma now complains
about the squirrels
Author: Curtis Dunlap
tall tales in the shade—
grandpa shifts his tobacco
to the other cheek
Author: Kristen Deming
dawn moon—
grandfather quietly candling
our morning eggs
Author: Barry George
wee hours in the big house
after Granddad’s wake
my uncles’ snoring
Author: S. M. Abeles
behind the deli counter
my grandfather’s dreams
sliced thin
Author: Cara Holman
around the table
three generations
in the candles’ glow
Author: Johnny Baranski
amid war 
and rumors of war. . .
another grandchild
Author: Marilyn Appl Walker
recalling a song
from his first language
apricot blossoms
Author: Angela Terry
bedside vigil. . .
she asks me again
if I watered her violets
Author: Johannes S. H. Bjerg
telling granddad I smoke he raises my allowance
Author: Susan Nelson Myers
crescent moon -
the curve
of her mill-worn fingers
Author: Dave Russo
faint smell of his pipe . . .
a shoebox of photos,
   his face scratched out
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