startled deer takes flight ~ haibun

startled deer takes flight.png

startled deer takes flight

As teenagers, my friends played baseball and football, but I never got involved in sports, except for pickup games on weekends. I wasn’t an athlete. I was the skinny kid. Then, in a touch football game, I out-sprinted a friend who was on the junior high football team, to catch a long pass for a touchdown. He said, “You should tryout for track in the spring.”

So I did. It meant a mile-and-a-half walk to the high school after school every day, in the opposite direction from home, but it prepared me for that three mile hike home from high school that I came to know so well. After awhile, it just became a run home from track practice. I became a quarter-miler, and I spent four years on the team. For two-and-a-half of those seasons I was on the varsity team, but it wasn’t until graduation that I figured out that I could have been in “The Varsity Club,” and walked around campus pretending to be a jock, letter jacket and all. I never considered myself an athlete. I just ran.

quiet forest walk
loud snap of broken tree branch
startled deer takes flight

This haibun is my response to Amaya’s dVerse prompt for
Poetics Tuesday/Peotics: Back to School,
in which we’re asked to remember our school days.

Photo found

34 thoughts on “startled deer takes flight ~ haibun

  1. Quarter-miler!? Give yourself some credit, friend. That (along with the 800m) was always the hardest race for me. No pacing, just the worst minute or so of my life of agonizing full-on sprint. I liked the hurdles more, but still. I played the sports in which extra running was always the punishment, not the goal in and of itself. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!
      Wind sprints were the worst part for me. Both of my sons went on to run. One ran 400m and indoor 300m, plus relays. The other, the ran 100m, 200m, 400m, plus relays, and then indoor where the events were shorter – maybe 60m & 300m, plus a relay. He went to the NY State High School Indoor Track Meet. He had a lot more drive than I ever did.


  2. Did you remain the skinny kid with the good metabolism? I dig that you never got into the posing and pretending; besides, the letterman jackets were expensive. Your haiku was outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never been overweight. Okay, there were those few months after I retired, but I woke up to that real fast, and that was ten years ago. These days, I should be more active, but at 65 I’m happy that I only have 5 pounds to worry about, now and then.
      Yeah, those jackets we’re pricey, even in 1970 – but the sweaters we’re free. Nothing I ever wore to school, though. I just didn’t see myself as a jock, which is where most of the school spirit was directed.


    • Thanks! I ran on and off, including a few 5Ks until 1998. A forklift knocked me over, then rolled onto my ankle from the side and stopped there. Yeah, broken. I waited a year to run on it, but my Achilles swells up after a couple of weeks. I tried that, on and off, until 2011. Now it’s 4mph on my treadmill. Oh, well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great sharing here! Well, it seems to me that had you purchased a Varsity jacket, it would have been deserved. Track is a sport after all. But — I understand. You didn’t feel like a jock 🙂 You just ran for the love of running! LOVED the haiku at the end…a perfect expansion of the title.

    Liked by 1 person

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