I’m volunteering to teach writing at San Miguel, a Back of the Yards neighborhood middle school in Chicago. If the sixth-grade class can write haikus, why can’t I?

Funerals are sad. Processions are solemn. No crazy driving!

Grandpas watch soccer. We go to flag football games. We bring our own chairs.

Our new editor. Moved here from near Glacier Park. Now, near Thatcher Woods.

Winter is coming. Park opposite the streetlights. So you don’t get towed.

Missed Oktoberfest. Hoping for Holiday Walk. Can’t wait for St. Pat’s.

Newspapers scary. Even find the sports section. Is so disturbing.

It’s just November. I’m already sick of soup. Can’t wait for turkey.

Supply chain is slow. Ordered my ugly sweater. Can’t wait to wear it.

Traffic is awful. Expressways are parking lots. Desplaines is slow, too.

Don’t throw garbage. On the sidewalk, lawn or street. Trash cans everywhere.

Motorcycles loud! Music makes them much louder. Diners need some peace.

Carjacks increasing. Thieves are stealing cars with guns. It’s so frightening!

Shot and a beer joints. Some require shots to buy beer. Also wear a mask.

Grandsons exhausting. But get a kick out of them. So adorable!

Use your inside voice. When you’re talking on the phone. Don’t want to hear you.

Garbage trucks noisy. Delivery vans beep-beep. Can’t hear myself think.

Live music in bars. Owners say it’s about time. Will the Redmonds play?

Sick of TV shows. Seen every movie made. Miss watching the Sky!

Writing books is fun. Hard part is getting started. Waiting for the snow.

Why is autumn “fall?” Winter is not called “freezing.” Spring is not “drizzly.”

Going outdoors tough. Especially when it’s cold. But it’s good for us.

Small talk is boring. Discussing the weather dull. How about those Bears!

District 209. Felt like it was being reborn. What the heck happened?

Don’t see neighbors much. Didn’t have a block party. On a dead end street!

Squirrels are crazy. They jump out and frighten us. They won’t eat ripe pears.

Demolition done. So much green space was freed up. Where is our new park?

Road rage is a pain. Be careful how you react. Don’t use your finger.

Hate paying to park. The side streets have free parking. Do residents mind?

Live theater is back. Missed Shakespeare and other shows. Missed Second City.

White Sox broke my heart. The season was a great ride. But what an ending.

Can’t wait to travel. Never been to San Diego. Heard it’s paradise.

Fall colors are bright. The leaves are spectacular. Don’t like bare branches.

Talk is meaningless. Silence is comfortable. When you’re with a friend.

Don’t know about tweets. What the heck is Instagram? Need help with my phone.

Hate using passwords. Don’t recall my username. Can’t open email.

Some teams were tanking. Slow pokes at Coffin Races. Park District sprinted!

Library looks great! Meetings are still mask-to-mask. So close to “normal.”

Opera is great! Many people don’t like it. They’ve never seen one.

Working from your home. It’s supposed to be easy. Do you have young kids?

Youth sports need rebirth. Why don’t we have Little League? No girls’ softball teams!

Haven’t been to church. Miss seeing all the people. Miss singing the songs.

Restaurants suffer. Safeguards restrict the diners. How do they survive?

Crime is everywhere. Violence is so widespread. Facebook doesn’t help.

Some bar patrons rude. They drink too much and start fights. Do you call that fun?

Cursive writing gone. People can’t read handwritten cards. But look for the cash.

Haikus are so brief. It’s hard to fill up this space. Finished my homework!

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.