At the Exhibit (Ligo-Haibun)

For the Ligo-Haibun Challenge hosted by Pirate, Penny and Nightlake.

As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve been busy this summer. Finally I get a chance to take up the practice of writing with renewed vigor, and get back to these challenges. This is a good one: a short narrative with accompanying haiku. (I think the haiku is the most difficult.) Some fine writers in this group. Give it a try!

We had two photo prompts to choose from. I chose this one.


It was the odor that propelled her to the penguin exhibit. She had no need to consult the building’s directory. A collection of sea brine, fish, and stabled livestock, the smell was at odds with the cuteness of the tuxedoed creatures.  She loved them nonetheless, possibly more, for the juxtaposition. It had been her idea to meet here. He was always late. At least she might distract herself watching the playful antics of the penguins as they slid on their bellies down the curved slide the Academy had constructed for their pleasure.

Standing at the railing she considered their pleasure trapped as they were behind enormous plates of glass. She listened to the giggles of the small crowd as the flightless birds Charlie Chaplin walked to the attendant who had entered stage left. One by one their handler tossed them small fish that they swallowed whole.

She toyed with her wedding ring, and thought about what she swallowed whole.

among the penguins

on the other side of the world

a lone female


12 thoughts on “At the Exhibit (Ligo-Haibun)

  1. Infidelity is never easy to live with. If that is her choice…she still has time to turn around before sliding down the slippery slope. Nicely written.

    Thanks for your visit to my haibun, I’m attempting a bit of a catch up today on reading. 🙂

    • Interesting interpretation. It’s fascinating what readers find in the pieces. It also lets me know what I need to clarify in future stories. In my imagination she is meeting her husband. He’s always late. She feels trapped in the marriage, like the penguins behind glass. Thanks for the insightful comment, Jules.

  2. You got my nose twitching with the description of the penguin enclosure – loved its juxtaposition with the tuxedos. I didn’t expect the last line of the prose. It gives the piece a whole different feel and raises a new set of questions. A gripping read.


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