The weight of news
the clues from which to construct a present self.’
Eavan Boland, Object Lessons
Until I walked this road again, I would have sworn
it was steeper. That the houses
were set back more deeply behind walls.
I thought there was more foliage, more cover.
Perhaps the trees have grown, as I have not:
new leaves extending out of reach.
My body recalls slowly hiking
this hill, back-pack brimming
with shopping, heading home.
I reach the small crossroads of the drive.
Birds, like debris, rise from the branches.
Blue-grey clouds mark the mid-morning sky.
Years ago, news arrived abruptly here.
It lingers, inexplicable
in the presence of everything I see.
If I close my eyes, I can make this place again
the small silent carousel
of landscapes and faces I roll out in times of need.
Still for a moment, I imagine it back.
The light beauty returns to the pavement.
Moss fuzzes the stone lines, greening their grey.
I open my eyes and step intently ahead
in and out of the shadows;
letting the past back in, just as it was.
Nevertheless the road remains
it goes nowhere now
housing estates have bypassed it
dog walkers talk of it but rarely visit
ghosts of folk songs air its length
they say a child vanished there once
Water rills across wet tarmac
flick light back
even under thunderclouds.
The run of thickets breaks
and the water-light draws
motes across the forest air.
Spores are at work here.
The scent of stones.
These small movements
towards the bracken
are to be reckoned with.
our bike leathers sag against the banister
where yesterday we surrendered them
having chased the light from the roads