Evergreen Refuge

When I was done snipping, the scraggly holly bush beside my house was transformed into a ball gown, smooth and sleek. I carefully trimmed an entrance, then swept away the clippings and laid a fluffy green blanket inside. This was my sanctuary. Prickly protection from everyone and everything on the outside. Hidden by the glossy leaves, I read Pippi Longstocking and The Never Ending Story. Hidden beneath the spines, I scribbled infant poetry. Beneath the bell-shaped beauty, I discovered happiness was a second home where sunlight spotted instead of stung. A place I could be forgotten about and start to do my own forgetting. A sanctuary where I learned to lean on the tasks that shelter my spirit from sadness.

Crossed holly branchlets  

Evergreen refuge and truth

The shelter of youth

© 2022 | K.Hartless

d’Verse Poet’s Pub: Haibun Monday: Give Me Shelter


  1. I love this, it brings back memories. My sister and I had a hiding spot like this, or rather two, which we furnished with rudimentary objects. Inside a laurel I believe it was. But I love that in your piece it’s holly, and the analogy of the protective prickliness on the outside. It’s beautifully written and so evocative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we should all have such a place….in childhood and adulthood. Especially drawn to this line…” I discovered happiness was a second home where sunlight spotted instead of stung”.

    Liked by 1 person

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