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Richard L. Matta


Yellow Roses and Bees, Pink Roses and Wasps by Unknown Chinese Artist

When I torched a yellow jacket nest as a child using spray paint and a lighter, I felt control over nature. But even then, I knew it was wrong. When a bee flew to that incinerated spot looking for its nest, guilt filled me. A year later I stepped on a nest. They swarmed and stung me fifty times.  Fair retribution.

One day as an adult, when chest pains came on, I asked myself, “do I deserve this for breaking a heart?” I asked myself again months later when this happened a second time.  When it happened a third time, not knowing another heart I might have broken, I had to agree with a friend who said, “that’s just bad genes.”

asking a stranger
to blow the dice


About the writer:
Richard L. Matta is originally from New York’s rustic Hudson Valley and now lives in San Diego. Some of his haibun have appeared in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Drifting Sands and Contemporary Haibun Online.

Image: Yellow Roses and Bees, Pink Roses and Wasps by Unknown artist. [Original color has been manipulated.] Chinese handscroll: ink and color on silk. 9 15/16 × 79 5/8 inches. Circa 960. Public domain.

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