Haiku

                                                                          my sump pump, too,
                                                                           a use of force
                                                                           spring rain


    Maybe haiku is not your thing but let’s get under the hood and look at one.  There are usually two parts being compared in a haiku.  Let’s take the easy one.

    Spring rain: rain drops in April hit us like nickels around here.  The early rain is heavy.  It arrives in that cold ‘not yet’ when everything is still covered in snow or death.  Spring rain comes before green that  blesses the earth.  That was the easy one.

    The other half, ‘my sump pump, too, a use of force,’ came to me in the April Dontre Hamilton was shot by a  Milwaukee police officer.  He struggled with mental illness and his story opens a deep wound about use of force.  We are all caught in this question.

    I have to have a sump pump.  It runs all the time.  There is a swale between my neighbor and I, and I am on ground just a touch higher, so my sump pump burdens the swale and runs toward him.  So his sump pump runs.  We affect each other.  Some days I don’t even know when I am harming my neighbor.  But whenever I shovel, I clear snow past the lot line all the way to his drive.  He does mine when I have a night meeting.  Green comes.  

                                 my sump pump, too,
                                 a use of force
                                 spring rain            

                                    Modern Haiku 47.3, 2016