Llama, 1957 (a haibun)
I’ve travelled 60 years back to this black and white day on West 44th St., not to see Judy Holliday in “Bells Are Ringing” at the Shubert, or Roz Russell in Auntie Mame just down the street, but to see you, you silly thing, poking your long neck out a taxi’s rear window as if you are the main attraction, your long ears stiffly up like antennae, listening, no doubt, for applause, or, maybe, news from the future, the latter of which I have: fins on cars (like that Plymouth behind you) went the way of girdles and telephone switchboards. However, perhaps you are prescient in at least some things traffic as there is no human in your taxi and we are working on that very concept right now. Mame, I’m sure, would approve, but probably not Holliday’s answering service lady, who is, perhaps, too fond of girdles and telephone switchboards. And, you silly thing, I suppose I must grudgingly concede that on this one particular black and white day in ’57 you are, after all, the headliner, the prima donna, the superstar, applause, applause. Just one favor though, if you don’t mind, sweetheart:
with those black onyx eyes as if
I’m the oddity here
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Robert L. Dean, Jr.’s work has appeared in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, River City Poetry, Heartland!, and the Wichita Broadsides Project. In April 2017 he organized a program of poetry and improvised music at Fisch Haus in Wichita. His haibun placed first at Poetry Rendezvous 2017. He was a finalist in the 2014 Dallas Poets Community chapbook contest. His haiku placed second in the 2016 Kansas Authors Club competition. He has been a professional musician, and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.
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