The Last – a haibun


My last morning as a 34-year-old will be spent in an MRI machine. The whirring will make my mind wander. I’ll think back to my 25th birthday, & how things changed so drastically just one week later. I’ll think about how I wasn’t ready for those changes. I’ll remember how I fought myself for control of myself. I’ll think about how I was finally going to go to college back then, but I missed my first day of class. I was forced into an MRI machine instead. The hospital invited me for an extended stay that time. I found out on day six that my financial aide hadn’t been approved anyway. I remember thinking I’d have to find something else to do, & more importantly, how I’d get my failing body to do it.

Gemini New Moon
Flip side shadows are birthing
Dark begin again

Last days. We never expect them. We worry about whether or not today is one of them. I know this. I’m not surprised anymore when the worst things happen. However, I don’t sit & wait for stars to collapse & fall around me. Or for a fiery inferno to consume me & all I hold dear. No, I carry on. I don’t fight anymore though. I prefer to flow.

Saline ocean bags
Renew a desert carcass
Cacti rest inside

I’m tottering another brink. This could be the last day I run. Or cry. Or breathe. The last day I didn’t feel pain is one I can’t even remember, but I made sure to smile today. I’ll smile when the technician forgets to give me headphones. I’ll remember the last time he forgot them, & how a loud, grating lullaby might be just what a person needs from time to time. What the doctor would order if it were his last day of being good.

The trees age in rings
Years coil around me like snakes
Everything cyclic

My last night as a 34-year-old, I hope to dream in shades of green. I hope to wake up with a soft humming in my head. I hope the voices that called out to me from within the shrieking machine don’t return. I hope it’s the last day I care about how I’m perceived. I hope this year I can finally let go completely.

Invisible witness
Unseen eye sentinel
From the other side


© Jennifer Patino (2018)


11 Comments Add yours

  1. hupsutupsu says:

    wow, pkd, this is moving, so utterly open and truthful and i don’t know how else to describe how i felt as i just read this. i hope you did dream in shades of green.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll see when I sleep tonight. ☺My birthday’s on Friday. Thanks for your kind comments. I’m glad you like my haibun.🙏💚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tara caribou says:

    Wow. Incredible. I really like this, even if I don’t like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tara. 😊 I understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Von Smith says:

    Denial keeps almost everyone away from these thoughts. They apply equally, but beg to be pushed under other more important things and left to drown. Looming threats, constant and wearing, give you strength some days and gloom on others. We need to face the miracle without earphones, without doctors, without MRI’s, for this is the truth we resist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely a miracle to be alive. Thank you for reading!


  4. I love how you constructed this! I’m sorry for the pain and hardship, and I love your spirit shining through! Inspiring.
    And happy belated birthday! 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you on all fronts! 🙏☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nitin says:

    Excellent Haibun Jennifer. Just amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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