I have no stale bread for the over-fed geese,
so I won’t be lingering at the busiest part of the lake
where the bins overflow. Straight on for me and,
when the road narrows,
there’s no need to waste my breath, “keep in!”, “watch out!”
I’m not slowed down by small bikes or a doll’s pram
that I wish, grudgingly, I’d left at home.
I don’t have to run ahead shouting, “get down!”, “get away from the edge!”.
Nor do I have to wait for a small boy trailing a stick,
or hold a tot’s hand as she slowly traverses a wall.
Good old slide, once a respite for at least an hour;
followed by the hide, to watch the heron.
So, on a bit, and round the bend;
field to the left; our beach to the right.
The gear always slips, a walk becomes a stroll, especially alone.
I’ve spent hours watching the traffic on the other side of the lake,
like watching a dream. It’s all a dream:
the day she started school, that fine September day.
The day he lost a sock.
I push on to our bench, under the firs.
I remember them crouching, heads together, at the shore
and me thinking: “that’d make a good sketch”. That’s gone.
Now they prefer complicated pleasures: Facebook, Playstation, Fashion,
and definitely not walking.
(c) AKW, 2013
I wrote this poem a few years ago around the time that I noticed that noone wanted to go on a walk with me anymore! I edited it today. Whilst Facebook appears to be perennial, I’m pleased to say that they passed through the playstation phase, and have now moved on to more sophisticated interests. And I’ve got used to walking on my own again. I’m musing on the theme of “Landscapes” in my other blog, Brave New World, so I found my thoughts returning to this poem. Brave New World is strictly for new work so I thought I’d put this one here.