Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It was where I lived for my first 16 years, the upstairs flat in a two family house in an Italian neighborhood. I can still hear my grandfather shouting from the first floor as I went up the back stairs.

“Chiuda la porta.”

“Chiuda la luce”

A noisy street and smelly with a Goodyear rubber plant on one corner and a cheese processing plant directly across from our house. Yet, a lively and cheerful street with small front gardens and friendly neighbors.

Today, the factories are long closed and empty, along with several of the houses, including ours. The porch roof is gone, the rails sagging. Windows boarded up, concrete where once were hydrangeas, the paint peeling down to bare wood.

It is mid-summer. The air heavy and quiet in this semi-abandoned neighborhood. I return to the car.

sudden shouts–
a man and a woman
their words unclear;
the sidewalk empty
but for shifting litter

Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose, Issue 2, Winter 2009


Gillena Cox said...

enjoyed your haibun

much love

Adelaide said...

Thank you, Gillena.


Lorena said...

Loved the story/explanation and the poem. It's so nice to see the thinking/build up, to the poem

Adelaide said...

Thank you, Lorena.


Tinky said...

I agree; the background gives us extra perspective!

Adelaide said...

Thanks, Tinky. I have my memories, anyway.