AtoZChallenge: L is for Leaves

Day 11 of the A to Z Challenge is the letter “L”:

L is for Leaves


Leaves appear several times in The Red Kimono, sometimes within the prose, and once as a haiku. There’s something I love about leaves, the visuals of dried leaves scattering in the wind and the yellow-green of leaves at first bloom.

Here are a couple of excerpts that include leaves:

When Sachi begins her dance lesson…

The lesson began like every other. Her teacher pulled a record from its jacket and placed it on the phonograph; hands so graceful, even as she lifted the needle and placed it on the spinning album. The crackling sound before the music always reminded Sachi of rain pattering against leaves on the ground.

A haiku used as foreshadowing of a terrible event…

Leaves swirling around
Fall to the ground and lie in
Eternal slumber

When Sachi and Papa walk to the park…

Wispy clouds floated across the gray sky like the incense smoke that had drifted from their altar, while leaves skipped across manicured yards of white stucco houses, racing to stay ahead of Sachi.

In Sachi’s bedroom as she tries to forget the day’s events…

Shadows of leaves danced on her ceiling like fairies in the moonlight. She made three wishes: that Papa would be all right, that it had all been only a dream, and that they’d never be called Japs again.

When Nobu walks out of the internment camp to gather firewood…

Something about walking outside the gates made him feel strange. One minute he felt free, a part of the huge world outside camp. And the next minute, he was afraid of that very same world. Unguarded. The word gave him two completely different sensations. Freedom and apprehension. What would happen to the Japanese when they finally left camp for good and there were no guards to protect them from the world outside?

A gust of wind shoved him toward the forest. Leaves raced ahead of him.

Run. Run. Follow us away from this place.

He entered the woods—a quiet place a world away from camp. When his feet touched the sun-mottled ground, the moaning wind turned to whispers through the boughs of the trees. Holding his breath, he stopped to listen. He listened to the sound of leaves and twigs crackling beneath his feet. Then, he stopped again to listen to the wind.

This entry was posted in Excerpt, Haiku, Prejudice, The Red Kimono and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to AtoZChallenge: L is for Leaves

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh Jan. Another beautiful post.

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    That first photo likes like a momiji leaf! Reminds me of Japan…

  3. Joyce says:

    I love the personification of the leaves.

  4. modmomelleroy says:

    Beautiful writing. I’m so glad I found your blog on the AtoZ Challenge.

  5. I love leaves too, especially when they begin the first flush of falling from the trees. I love that you have used the motif often in your book 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s