I Went For A Walk, That's All

I went for a walk, that’s all.
Feet bouncing with strength of youth,
Clothes neat and fresh on my back.
Scenery aging slowly
With years and fast with seasons.
Into the hills of heather,
Where trees are old and paths new.
Leaves crackle under my feet,
As I walk a path I know
Or at least I think I’ve seen.

Down a dusty dirt pathway,
A fond memory from youth.
Down the hillside of pebbles;
Slightly dangerous, but fun.
Down the scratchy forest trail
Through bushes best avoided.
Down the laughing ice-edged stream;
Getting wet, but what a tale!
Down to the valley in mud
Slickened by leaves and old rain.

Here I pause, just to take stock,
But going back is too much.
A walk must be a circle
Guided by vision and goals.
I won’t fail! And so proceed
With thoughts of stories well-told,
Faces lighting with wonder,
Hearts putting trust in my strength.
On for a new direction!
A pathway between the seas.

Tramping along valley floor,
No scenery, just boredom.
Tramping along valley floor,
Further and further from home.
Tramping along valley floor,
Aching joints and wet clothing.
Tramping along valley floor,
Wishing home were soon ahead.
Tramping along valley floor,
Maybe I’ll just live alone.

Then a cloud covers the sun.

And ankle twists on a rock.

And I just don’t like pancakes.

I plop into muck and sob.

Strange how hard it is to turn,
To leave wrong pathways behind.
We’d not believe it a strain,
Did not our lives display it.
I tightened wet shoes and belt,
Ignored the scrapes and blisters.
Allowed shame to take its course,
Till blood drained from reddened cheeks.
Wiping mud from seat of pants,
I turned.

The cloud still covered the sun.

My gait sported a slight limp.

My tears froze upon my face.

Tramping along valley floor,
Resolved not to live alone.
Tramping along valley floor,
Home still lying far away.
Tramping along valley floor,
Aching joints and wet clothing.
Tramping along valley floor,
Nearer and nearer to home.
Tramping along valley floor,
Still monotonous and cold.

Here I pause, just to prepare.
But staying is wholesale loss.
I recall each bush and tree,
Testament to backtracking.
Afraid I’ll break, I proceed,
With thoughts of bed and pillow,
Of hot meat and creamy milk,
Arms hugging around my waist,
Just happy we are both there,
A couple on an island.

Up the valley slick with mud,
Slipping on leaves and old rain.
Up the ice-edged stream, still wet,
The tale washed away by shame.
Up the thistled forest trail,
Warning before, scratching now.
Up the hillside of pebbles,
Knees bloodied and nothing fun.
Up the dusty dirt pathway,
New memories of wisdom.

Too dark to watch scenery
Along a path known too well.
Even so it is aging
Slow with years, fast with seasons.
Out of the hills of heather,
Where trees are old and paths new.
Home to my wife and children,
Relief flooding my tear ducts,
The pain of growth and wisdom.
I went for a walk, that’s all.

1 comment:

Seacel said...

Hi Ben, I really enjoyed the poem. Hehe, I'll think about it when I go on my walks/ runs now- tramping along valley floor.