"Getting It Wrong" a haibun by Margaret Walker who is a Babylon Sidedoor Writer-in-Residence

A Babylon Sidedoor Writer-in-Residence Feature

Getting It Wrong    

I grew up in a small town in the Southern US. The black population far outnumbered “white”. 

My earliest playmates were black. They lived behind us. When we started school I didn’t see them. Daddy explained that the school bus picked them up and took them to a different school.  Riding a school bus! I was envious!

                                             back seat of the station wagon rear view

At the movies I wanted to sit in the balcony. Mama said the balcony was where “colored people” sat. If only I could sit up there!

                                              rows above the hoi polloi are who

Then the public swimming pool opened.  I wanted my black playmate to go. Mama said “colored people” weren’t allowed. I didn’t understand. I heard someone say “colored people” were dirty even though they did the housework and cooking for that person.

                                              her color never changing our clothes

As a child I had no idea my view of the world was so out of step with reality.

                                              64 crayons white the least used


                                                                                                Margaret Walker

A Babylon Sidedoor Writer-in-Residence

Getting It Wrong is a haibun by Margaret Walker 

Margaret Walker has been commissioned to write a number of pieces celebrating African American culture (more will be explained and explored) and other culturally and historically relevant stories that have never been more important.

The haiku "64 crayons white the least used" is long-listed for:


The Haiku Reader 2022 anthology:


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