Halfway Along The Lane

I can’t remember if the fence was crooked before or after the stranger came? In my memory he’s tall, thin, white haired and smiling. Perhaps he wasn’t all that tall though. Most people seem tall to me so perhaps he was shorter, more averaged sized. Either way, I can still see him standing in the larger gate, the one we used, not the one eaten by the conifers, smiling at my parents’ house. He was the one who revealed that it used to be two and not one, and he had lived there at some point, back when he was my age. At least I think he said that, I might have made that last bit up.

I think I was disappointing that my parents already knew the bit about our house not always being one dwelling. It was the same sort of disappointment that came I woke up from dreams with secret doors and hidden staircases. The mystery was never mine to find, it always belonged to someone else.

My room is now the guest room. Re-purposed now I have bricks and mortar to call my own. I still trace my hands along the hallway walls though, tracing the seams of the wallpaper, pressing against the bubbles beneath the drops. Part of me still hopes for secrets, tucked inside those walls.

White lilac blooms first,

near the front garden one edge.

Little else here changes.



  1. I’ve read the prose section of your haibun four times….and each time there is more depth to it. Your title I think is telling — Halfway Along the Lane. The person who stopped at your gate to visit for a moment, and sharee that he grew up in your house and that at the time, it was actually two houses instead of one…seems to have made a deep impression on you. Was the gate half-way along the lane….or was this revelation a half-way point in your life — and sudden “turn in your perception” about your house so that suddenly you started to look around the house…to try and figure out where it was two? Where it was joined? And your dreams found secret passage ways….the fantasy of the dream, of the mysterious house. Mysterious only after the man told you it was once two? I especially find the details at the end engaging….the walking along the walls, of the hallway, even after you still live there but now have changed the guestroom to your bedroom…and you are still feeling the wallpaper, the lumps from its paste, and searching for seams of joins, of hidden tunnels and passageways. What an intriguing write. You’ve taken us, not only into this place, but into your mind and your wonderings.
    The haiku portion does contain nature, and the kilo is within the idea of a white lilac’s first bloom (spring). The period at the end of the second line, for me is the kireji. We shift our attention from the garden itself….to your state of mind that perhaps the white lilac has been more newly planted….but nothing else has changed…the gate is still there. The house you lived in as a youth is still there. You are still there.
    I really found this an intriguing write. Thank you so much for posting to the prompt!


    1. The house was halfway along the lane, halfway between the main road and the farm. I don’t actually live there anymore, my parents still do, but my room has now become the spare room.
      I keep thinking that the feeling will fade but each time I walk through that door, the smell, the light, it just feels like homecoming.


  2. Wonderful verse. I think all kids hope for some hidden passages or dark corridors to find. There might be treasure or some adventure there, ( I never found any either). I love the description of the elderly man coming up. Discovering someone else lived there before you. Lovely Haiku, sounds like the perfect garden.


      1. It is amazing how when someone else reads one of our poems we go, I didn’t mean that at all! It is often true that things come across that escape our consciousness, that someone else reads into the poem and gives it a different life than the writer intended. I have had that happen several times. It makes me read my poem in a different manner.


  3. Something similar happened to me a while ago! An elderly man stopped to talk as I was gardening at the front of our house and said he had grown up in our house.
    I love the idea of secrets tucked behind walls.


Comments below, but please leave your bots at the door.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.