leaving the nest (haibun)

At Carpe Diem, we are asked to write a haibun to the haiku written by Kala Ramesh., Taking Flight.  The narrative and haiku must not be more thatn 150 words.  Here is my narrative.


Her mother told her she was her “baton de veillesse”. Every birthday, her mother repeated the story that she was conceived on a Sunday afternoon. “You were planned. You are special.”

She knew what her mother meant with those innuendos and guilt trips, “after all I did for you.” When she finished college, she had to return home to help her parents support her three younger siblings.

“Is this my calling?” she often asked the Great Spirit. She felt this responsibility getting heavier each year. Once the youngest sibling had fled the nest to marry, she too decided it was time.

One June night, she left in the wee hours of the morning never looking back.

Cher Maman & Papa,
Merci de me donner la vie; maintenant je vais la vivre.
Votre fille, bien aimée xx


taking flight –
a butterfly shrugs off
its shadow
© Kala Ramesh

(147 words)

Baton de viellesse is a French expression meaning that child has a duty to take care of her parents when they age. It was probably often used before pensions or social security existed.

26 thoughts on “leaving the nest (haibun)

  1. Ah, you went for authenticity and emotion – and cradted such a nice haibun to read, culturally, but also very thought-provoking. This is real writing. Went so well with the haiku, and using a ”letter” gave your haibun added depth and rhythm. So nicely done


  2. Very well written and powerful story.

    I went to college in Seattle and my family lived in Florida. When I graduated, my mother informed me I was to come back home to live since I wasn’t married. I was shocked. There was no way was I going to do that! 🙂


      • My mother did not approve of my behavior during college and I imagine she thought that if I came home she could straighten me out! (I did things like work at a service center for the homeless and wrote her and said, “Mom, I’m having such a good time. I’m meeting ex-cons, drug addicts, and drag queens!” I may or may not have realized how provocative that statement was at the time.)


      • I had waited for most of my childhood to be free, and free I was staying! I’m glad I was not interested in the kind of freedoms that lead to self destructive behaviors like drug addiction, which would have been easy enough in the 70’s. I was interested in making a difference.

        BTW take a look at the guest post Sreejit put up this morning. I believe it is one that you will like!


      • Jean Clarke writes about four ways to leave home. Ejecting or being ejected, growing up and leaving, coming and going, or staying. How we leave home often creates the template for how we leave throughout our life. Mine was ejecting and being ejected…. hummm….. hadn’t thought of the fact it was both before. This topic would make a good post!


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