Her mama said she was uppity.

IMG_1854A haibun for the dVerse prompt signs.

Wish it had been the R that fell, she thought. Then it would say DINE, like the food was good, like it was more than runny eggs and meatloaf. But it was the I, and everyone called it the DEE-ner, like some hillbilly joint. Jake said it gave the place character, didn’t even know where the I had blown to after all these years.

She hated waiting tables. Her mama said she was uppity. “Worst thing we did was name you Chelsea after that foreign place,” her mama said. “You get off your high horse and make peace with staying here.” But she never would. Never! She’d get a little money ahead and clear out. Go where Chelsea was an OK name, and DINE was what folks did, and tips were more than a quarter.

“You gonna stub that smoke and get back to work? I ain’t paying you to be on break all day.”

“When you gonna put the I back, Jake?”

“No time soon, Chelsea girl. No time soon.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

rocky soil, no rain
daisies distressed, withering
oak tree carries on.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Rusty Truck
Photo:  Etsy

33 thoughts on “D NER

    1. Thanks, Bob. When I sent it to Rusty Truck, I told the editor I didn’t know if it was a prose poem or flash fiction. He wrote back and said it didn’t matter — that he just liked it. My kind of editor! Then I turned it into a haibun for dVerse.


  1. That sounds like a real life story. If the food’s that bad, they might be better off leaving out the i. The haiku sounds like something Dorothy might say before the tornado hit. It makes an interesting prologue


    1. That’s so nice of you to say, Laura, but I don’t have the patience for writing a book. Trying for a chapbook of poems is as much ambition as I can muster. Maybe by 2018. I have most of the poems for one. Now to get them all together…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love everything about this…the contrasts of prose to dialogue to haiku, the subtitle, the missing letters, the character development…it comes together so brilliantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a talent you have, Sarah! This character absolutely came alive in your haibun. I wasn’t reading it aloud but I could hear her voice in my head…you nailed the conversation, the colloquialisms, the personality. This is just an amazing piece of writing. And the line I LOVE in the poetic ending is “daisies distressed, withering.” This piece is absolutely cinematic!


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