When I was a child, I lived in a town in Surrey called Mitcham, which is now part of South London. I remember it as a safe place. I knew pretty much everyone in the road where I first lived with my grandparents and later, when my parents moved to a small estate consisting of three blocks of maisonettes, I knew pretty much everyone there too, including the local shopkeepers, mainly because I would be sent to do the shopping. Mrs Brown, who was a widowed grocer, knew about my love of ballet and even took me to a few performances at Wimbledon Theatre.
A place I thought was magical was a local green space on the banks of the River Wandle, called Ravensbury Park. Sometimes my grandmother would take me and my sister, or a neighbour’s daughter would accompany me in the summer when I was very little, and as I got older I would go with friends. It’s still there, although it has changed. It used to have two types of swings, a set for little children and another for the older kids, a massive slide, a roundabout and a paddling pool, which was filled with water every summer. There were wooded areas, flowers and a boating lake with ducks and swans. Best of all, there was a small café that sold cold drinks and ice cream.
ducks scramble for crumbs
sunshine sequins on the lake
Kim M. Russell, 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Hometown Haibun
This Monday Mish is hosting the haibun prompt. She reminds us that the haibun is a combination of prose and haiku, beginning with a non-fictional narrative, a true account written in present tense consisting of concise paragraphs, no more than three. The prose is followed by a traditional haiku which gives reference to a season, bringing another dimension or layer to the prose.
For the theme, Mish wants us to think hometown and bring to life a scene or experience from our hometown, a childhood or adult memory. She wants us to reminisce, relive a moment and describe this place using sensory details. We can even view our hometown through new eyes, the way it feels and looks to us now when we visit.