Highway Haiku: Haiku-A-Day Challenge #6


Image CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 Steve Rotman on Flickr.com

I’m joining Trina Haase at Trinarrative for a daily haiku challenge in December.

I pass few cars in the sixty miles I drive to work over open prairie, but the highway still sometimes has the feel of an obstacle course. It’s a rare commute that doesn’t require at least one slam of the breaks to avoid deer, turkeys, pronghorn, owls, hawks, eagles, coyotes, rabbits, skunks, occasionally pheasants or porcupines, once elk, and once a badger.

South Dakota is one of the worst states for vehicle-deer collisions, and the shoulders of the road tell the story every morning of drivers who weren’t able to stop or swerve.  The pronghorn and the coyotes seem wisest: I frequently see them in the fields but rarely dead by the side of the road. The deer are the worst, or perhaps their numbers are just so much higher that it’s natural they’d be in the roads and hit that much more often. There are often ten or twelve carcasses between my home and my office.

Inspired by Issa’s haiku that directly address animals, I tried a series of haiku addressed to the animals I see on the highway. I braked for a tiny deer and a zippy coyote just this morning.

how quickly you veer
at my approach

small deer
how many times
must you cross the road?

your amble
gives me time to swerve





5 responses to “Highway Haiku: Haiku-A-Day Challenge #6”

  1. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    I am amazed that you see all of this wildlife on your way to work! I usually only see squirrels!
    Again, you write beautiful haiku! I especially love this phrase: how quickly you veer at my approach

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s really amazing to see so much wildlife every day! Preferably ALIVE!

  2. margaretsmn Avatar

    You sure have a different experience than most on your drive. I am impressed with this little series that puts me on the road with you. Addressing animals is something I may try with my students.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Issa has some wonderful haiku that address animals. I’m really enjoying Lanoue’s book about writing like Issa–getting lots of ideas for this month’s challenge!

  3. […] haiku about trying to avoid the obstacle of wildlife on my […]

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