Mitcham May Queen

My response to imaginary garden with real toads Poetizing the Maypole


When I was young it was a treat

On the first Saturday

Of every May

To watch at Mitcham’s Cricket Green,

Where cricket’s been played

For more than three hundred years,

The crowning of the May Queen.

Children danced around a pole,

Criss-crossing lengths of coloured bands

That fluttered gently in their hands.

Some started at the age of five

Dressed as flower fairies,

Rosebud, Buttercup and Lily of the Valley,

In red, yellow, white and a sash of green,

Or Forget-Me-Nots, whose sashes were blue.

At twelve they could become

Prince Charming or Lady in Waiting,

With a bouquet and flowers in their hair,

Or, best of all, the May Queen

Who was crowned by the Lord Mayor.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Images found on


24 thoughts on “Mitcham May Queen

  1. We had something similar in the farming village where I grew up. It was danced around Midsummer, and the faerie-like creatures were named after rice, coffee, cacao, honey… There was a swarm of rice and coffee and cacao, but everyone wanted to be honey… I never got beyond rice. Oh, those memories–the dancing, the singing, the wild laughter–are still so vivid in my memory. And your poem, its organized progression, makes them even brighter in my head. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a sweet memory and your writing created such imagery in my mind. I could see the beautiful colors of the bands and the fairies dancing around the Maypole. I’m sorry you never got to be a fairy..but you can be one now in any story or poem you would like to write! Nice meeting you at Jackie’s party, look forward to exploring more of your site! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I can get away with it at my age. I used to do it all the time when I was teaching. The teenagers I taught obviously thought I was mad but they enjoyed it. However, now my daughter is an adult, she’s just embarrassed!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if they have kept up the tradition – I moved away such a long time ago. I know they still have May Day celebrations in other parts of the country.


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