Speed Bump

I always forgot that the bump was coming. The little humpback bridge on the road to The Wharf. The one that sent your stomach into your throat, that had my sister and I whooping in the back of the car, small hands clutching the seats, convinced we had momentarily left the ground.

I could believe we were flying back then. When you’re small everything seems bigger, faster, brighter than life. Granddad’s driving was like that for us. Bug eyed at seventy on the speedometer. We thought that was the fastest that anyone could possibly ever go. He was wild and exciting, not like those fuddy-duddies crawling along at twenty down the A41.

He doesn’t take the bridge as fast as he used to. Now that I’m older, I think he only sped up for my sister and I, to make us smile and shriek. A lot of what he did when we were small was to make us laugh. We were his princess, and he was out merrymaker.

‘Gone to see a man,

about a dog’ he’d tell us.

Greying with winter.


Tonight’s prompt was to write a Haibun based on a childhood memory. I wasn’t sure if I was going to partake with this one as last week I wrote a couple of poems rooted in my childhood, and I try not to write to vary my topics when I write poetry or I end up writing the same thing.

In the end I chose a memory that hasn’t shown up in any of my poems yet. At this rate you’ll soon be able to piece together my whole childhood just from the poetry section on this blog!



  1. Nice Haibun. I remember those words “gone to see a man about a dog” my father was alway’s saying it and he died back in 1970, but I can still hear his voice saying it.
    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Aw, that’s lovely – I never knew either of my granddads but that is exactly the kind of relationship I would have loved to have with them (and which I saw developing between my father and my children) : a stunning and memorable phrase – We were his princess, and he was out merrymaker.


  3. ‘I could believe we were flying back then’ … great line that captures everything about childhood! Great piece .. I had an uncle who lost a leg in the First World War and remember him driving us into Weston Super Mare then pulling out and tucking in behind an ambulance to beat the queues!


  4. I never knew either of my grandfathers as they died quite young. I love the idea of the grandfather as “merry maker” — seeing how my husband is adored as Grampa, I might also add myth maker! πŸ™‚


      1. I so wish I’d recorded my folks….I’m completing small books I picked up at a bookstore, “My Mom. Her Stories Her Words” for both my children. πŸ™‚


  5. I love the haiku…..and I remember a man who made us laugh by doing things like that…he loved kids….so can relate to your story…and he was old back then!


  6. I love how you capture the way, as children, we become so fascinated with someone’s apparent awe-inspiring feats…it is so true! Then, adulthood sets in and we realize things like that 70 wasn’t that fast or whatever, but for that brief moment in time, that person was like a god to us because of that incredible thing they could do, and did, just for us πŸ™‚


  7. I just love this haibun. It’s got a certain universality in it that most can relate to. Absolutely wonderful! And a great haiku ending it! For 23 you are doing quite well. LOL! I wish I could write with such lovely panache!


  8. What a beautiful haibun about the simple things done with love that can leave such lasting memories. I can imagine the twinkle in your grandfather’s eye as he was making you shriek!


  9. Wonderfully cheery, Carol!

    ps: You might want to double-check that last sentence. “his princess, and he was out merrymaker” – maybe “princesses” and “our” instead of out?


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