Adoption – #TankaTuesday #Haibun


The medicine man draws the marks of the chosen one on her forehead, her cheeks, with a muddle of red clay and pure springwater. The gourd bowl he draws from is stained red by years, decades, and generations of uses before. It is a holy day, and a gift must be flown to the gods. He places a bearskin cape on the chosen one’s back, the horns of a deer on her head, and precious shells in her hands. He commands her,

Stretch your holy wings –
the gods’ gift on sacred days.
Brave the daunting jump!

And so she leaps, the cape flapping in the wind, feathered wings of the gods sprouting from her back. She becomes the bird, the bear, the deer, and radiance as the child soars to her new, adopted parents.


This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #184, a picture and form prompt! We were to write a haibun inspired by Frank J. Tassone’s picture of a New York natural area. I went a fantasy route.

12 thoughts on “Adoption – #TankaTuesday #Haibun

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Thank you! The picture looked a lot like this rock near where I grew up: the legend had been that the wind blew so hard that when a couple of Cherokee lovers couldn’t get married, they jumped off – and the wind blew them back up because it thought them in the right. Well, I just made it a little different, but was still inspired by the story from when i was little.

  1. Colleen M. Chesebro says:

    What an excellent haibun! I really enjoyed this. It reads like a story. Just goes to show you how versatile this form is. Tanka prose is as well, just with a tanka poem. Love this! ❤

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