The Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Prompt “Bouquet”


I sat in my mother’s kitchen, staring at the bouquet of flowers he sent – the vibrant multicolored mishmash taunting me. As I leaned back against my chair, I felt it.. that strong tide of déjà vu… only the sensation was neither sudden nor fleeting. It was more like being caught in a continuous uprising… Waves twirling, undulating… momentarily resting only for me to be held captive by the lingering aftermath. A wreck – that’s exactly what I am. I am every bit as damaged as he is, after his business plummeted to the ground, dragging along with it my dreams of a blissful marriage. He sought comfort in bottle after bottle of that wretched poison. And I, in his beatings. They were unwelcome at first… but later I found, it was my only means of atoning myself… a way to make amends for my uselessness… my inability to help him with his situation. Only in the brink of death do I attempt to escape… only at nights when he’d come so close to killing me that I’d come running back to my mother’s house. But even as I sat there I knew, I was trapped – ensnared in this vicious cycle of fear and pain and guilt and forgiveness. I packed my bags.

A bouquet of flowers… that’s all it takes…

220 words

His apology
A petal for every pain
Soon do they wither.

written for The Līgo Haībun Challenge


31 thoughts on “The Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Prompt “Bouquet”

  1. Oh this is you using your key strength – I’ve often thought and hopefully said that your use of psychology in literature – yours – is quite unique, and always deep and relevant. I find this piece particularly brave, where the message behind is gelled/melted perfectly with the way it is scribed. Very strong, PS – just a collection of competitions. Haven’t looked properly yet.

    • i’ve seen it happen to often.. women forgiving their men after receiving, sigh, flowers >< as if flowers can fix their infidelity or neglect or the bruises they left — physical or emotional. these damn flowers — give them all the excuse that they need to come back.. to justify their men’s actions. >< thanks so much for the kind words ^^ i'll definitely check that when i get home 🙂

  2. Not sure how to comment on this…it “hit” so close to home. As the child of an abusive alcoholic I can only say that there is so much truth in this. We were brought up to believe that we *deserved* our beatings. The psychological damage is what remains when the wounds have healed. I hope your lovely piece can save just one victim..well done.

    • i understand.. my father drank and abused my mom physically and verbally too.. and she could never leave him for longer than a few days. he never physically hurt me though, but i was so scared of him. i have great respect for your courage. thank you 🙂

  3. It is very difficult to walk away when you love someone, no matter how abusive the relationship is..You have captured the woman’s point of view perfectly in your haibun. very well written, kz..

  4. Very powerful and moving

    I’ll just add that
    – not all abuse is physical
    – not all abusers are men
    – not all lures are flowers


    • very true. verbal abuse is just as wrong. even a child having to witness such abuse, though not directed towards him or her, is in itself a form of abuse. yes, sometimes it;s the other way ’round… and of course, some have no need for flowers at all…thank you,, jazz ^^

  5. Pingback: Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Prompt **South America** | Līgo Editions

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