Carob Drops

Like the Prose: Challenge 9 – Experiment with writing a Haibun (short first-person prose punctuated by haiku or tanka).


It’s late at night, and the storm raging outside seems like it’s doing its level best to come indoors. I’m tucked up in a loft bed at the top of Emily and Rajesh’s A-frame, wrapped in quilts. The power has long-since gone out, but the house is warm. The heat is provided by a wood stove with a pipe that goes all the way up the center of the house. Similarly, the lightning flashing beyond the glass window is not my only illumination. I have a lantern, a book, a mug of peppermint tea with a lot of honey in it, and, a secret gift from Rajesh: a baggie full of carob drops. He’s not the first brown-skinned man I’ve ever met, but he’s the first who isn’t Navajo, or doesn’t speak Spanish. He speaks better English than we do, Mommy says. In fact, he speaks it with an accent that sounds like music, and he knows just how to connect to an eight-year-old girl. He lets a twinkle appear in his warm brown eyes and promises that the tiny candies will give me sweet dreams. “And in the morning, your mother will be back,” he adds, with a smile I know I can trust. And so, I settle into my nest of quilts and get lost in the book he gave me: A Wrinkle in Time.


Little girl in braids
Finds her comfort from the storm
Warmed by lantern light,,
Reading tales of tesseracts
And savoring carob drops.