Looking Back – A Haibun

Just a few weeks ago it was the 35th anniversary of my living in the US.  I came from England, with my first husband and our baby son, to settle in Virginia where he was to begin a new job.

We knew a lot of the States fairly well having visited numerous times however leaving everything behind and starting again in a new country was still daunting.

George Bernard Shaw said the United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language. There was never a truer statement!  I still remember the quizzical looks I would get when I asked someone for help or directions.  It was as if I was speaking with a foreign tongue.  I learned quickly to ask in a certain way and use words that were familiar to the listener.  Strange but true.  It still happens from time to time but these days I just laugh at myself for forgetting.

From across the pond
to land of milk and honey
Beginning anew

Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Kim, from Writing in North Norfolk
is hosting Haibun Monday at D'Verse Poets
tonight ad has prompted us with A Snapshot of
Our Lives. To look back at a previously written
poem or prose and create a Haibun around it.
I chose a poem I wrote called Destination Unknown

Image by 光曦 苏 from Pixabay 


  26 comments for “Looking Back – A Haibun

  1. Beverly Crawford
    March 31, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I smiled as I read your story. For many years I was a medical transcriptionist, and one of the most difficult languages we encountered was ….. English! I once spent half an hour perusing medical dictionaries trying to find “fulstop”, only to learn the Brit dictator was saying “full stop”, which meant period at the end of the sentence!!! Stay safe!

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Oh that’s funny Beverly! You understood my predicament. We are truly separated by a common language 🤣 Lol

  2. March 31, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    To uproot yourself like that must have been a transition that might even be larger if you come there thinking you knew the language…. 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      Well it was English we were speaking and I am English – you’d think it would hav3 been easier! Lol ☺️

  3. March 31, 2020 at 6:34 am

    That feeling of dislocation occurs even when you move to different parts of the United States…the local is still local, despite the internet.

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Yes that is so true. I have moved around the US too and agree with you ☺️

  4. March 31, 2020 at 5:45 am

    An honest and beautiful share, loved this haibun

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Jude! 🥰

  5. March 31, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Love your story. Language can bring us closer…after the… “what did you say?”

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 9:41 am

      Haha, yes!!! ☺️

  6. March 31, 2020 at 5:11 am

    Another poem I’m seeing for the first time, and I’m glad you gave me the opportunity of reading it today, Christine. That was a great leap into the unknown, from the UK to the US, Virginia no less! Congratulations on 35 years! I’ve only made it across the pond once on a trip to New York with my husband, and I agree with you and George Bernard Shaw.

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Kim. You came up with a really interesting prompt for us and I’m enjoying some of the poetry we missed the first time around too 🙂

  7. March 30, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I never knew your were initially from England.

    • Christine Bolton
      March 31, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Yes Sadje. A long time ago now 🙂

      • March 31, 2020 at 10:51 am

        Cool! I like Britishers. 💖

      • Christine Bolton
        March 31, 2020 at 12:40 pm


      • March 31, 2020 at 12:52 pm


  8. March 30, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    I love your story! I understand about the language. I grew up in Pennsylvania went to school in Virginia and moved to North Carolina over forty years ago. Occasionally locals will ask me were I am from. I don’t quite have that southern drawl!

    • Christine Bolton
      March 30, 2020 at 11:46 pm

      Too funny! We moved to Texas a few years later and it was even more fun. They used to say to me “yeeewww ain’t from around heeeeere are yeeewww?” Lol 😂

      • March 31, 2020 at 10:14 am

        Ha ha, you have to stretch the ending of your words a little more!

      • Christine Bolton
        March 31, 2020 at 12:41 pm

        Yes I learned how to cram three syllables into a three letter word! 🤣

      • March 31, 2020 at 12:52 pm

        That is the way to do it! :>)

  9. March 30, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Does your son remember England at all? Glad you and your family moved here 35 years ago <3

    • March 30, 2020 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you! No. He was a baby but he has been back quite a few times and he loves it there 🙂

      • March 30, 2020 at 10:10 pm

        🙂 So cool

      • Christine Bolton
        March 30, 2020 at 11:47 pm

        We divorced some years later but remained friends 🙂👍

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