My journey doesn’t complete itselfbecause I loop around and loop
around, it needs you to fall into step
beside me. Only that, and the rest of the group
could be forgotten, nothing missed, nothing misplaced.
There are milestones still, and pebbles, and the sudden scoop
of dug up earth - the road still sets
its own pitfalls - the soar and swoop
of hope-despair, the thin-joint two-faced
fallen coins, lying in wait for me to stop and stoop.
I am perhaps not the same as I wasmany years ago – perfunctory, risk-averse;
but still as easily enraptured by the wash
of rain on leaf, by the rinse of words
on a page, by the sluice of a pause
at its turn, by the dabs and swabs of a well-turned verse;
less swift to write off as a loss
everything that’s not a gain, the way it blurs
its own edge to disguise its flaws;
I accept that much of it could’ve been worse.
You too are here somewhere inthe crowd, perhaps a little less or more
impatient, the changes somewhat hard to pin
though I know nothing can quite change that core
unshakeable and constant. Many things remain
just the same, just as lucid as before -
the twists of roads and turns of page still beckon.
Just that our twinned prints, the sounds of your
footsteps are no longer aligned with mine, they are fallen
somewhere else, not by my side, steady and sure.
No journey is an end in itself, it’s the meansto an end, and my end is just you -
this thin wedge of a crowd in between,
the tiny gaps, the bliss and press of a few
frantic minds don’t matter, nor the sheen
of fallen coins in the mud. The arch of blue
overhead, the tumbling stones, the lick of green
the silence of condensing dew -
that’s what counts, and then within
them all, your footfall, oh close enough, and mine too.