Her eyes filled with mist when she spoke about Zeeland. I was too young to understand her story. The feeling in my heart when we made lemonade was real and true. She let me add a little sugar to warm water, while continuing to stir with her spoon.
the ring with the moonstone
© Xenia Tran
This haibun was inspired by a moment from my childhood when I visited my great-grandmother in Rustoord, the retirement home where she spent her final years. Zierikzee is a town in the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands.
The above poem is an interpretation in English of my haibun Rustoord, originally written in Dutch:
Haar ogen liepen vol met mist, als ze het over Zeeland had. Ik was te jong om haar geschiedenis te begrijpen. Het gevoel in mijn hart, als we samen citroenlimonade maakten, begreep ik wel. Ik mocht schepjes suiker aan het warme water toevoegen terwijl zij met een lepel bleef roeren.
het ringetje met de maansteen
past nog steeds
© Xenia Tran
I am delighted that Rustoord was first published in Vuursteen, Tijdschrift voor haiku, senryu en tanka, Winter 2019, the quarterly journal of Haiku Kring Nederland. A very big thank you to Marian Poyck and colleagues for putting this edition together.
The header photograph is the only photograph I have that features my great-grandmother. It was taken in 1941 by my late grandfather and features my late great-grandmother, my late grandmother and my father in his pram.
Wishing you all a blessed Sunday,
with love from Xenia xxx
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A further selection of recent publications in online and print journals can be found here: