The Trail – A Poem, by Me.

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This is a poem I wrote yesterday. It doesn’t make much sense; I’m not so sure it’s supposed to. Inside I want to write, but this is all I can do right now.


The Trail


Alice Radwell

There’s a trail somewhere, but it’s hard to find,

Between rows of hawthorn bushes, or near the drying stream once found in a summer,

And then lost to flowers,

And then to snow,

And then frozen.

A pair of boots near a fireplace, and a cap on the hat-stand,

Forgotten carvings in stone walls now wrapped in paint and frames.

Once a twig snapped underfoot, and a robin, out of season, flew ahead.

There were words once too. Maybe that was the river, but the matter is misplaced in the denseness of old trees.

Bright things, unyielding traits etched into stain-glass windows, where colour billows out onto pale marble,

A girl sits with a red balloon at the edge of the rock whispering secrets to ash on the wind.

Ash is ash, and dead as old boots by a fireplace, and as cold as frozen water.

One foot after the next, and again and again. That’s right. Boot before boot, before boot before boot, through petal strewn heather and leaving scars in arctic canvas,

Oh, the trail?

It might not even be there anymore. Lost to decades, and to a gambit no one could win; pennies on tables piled so faces were hidden. Days gone without once putting boots on.

White fields as they are. Untouched.

An empty hat-stand is just a memory; lost to decades. Boots near the fireplace; who remembers rivers? The trees probably do. They’ll miss the running water when the winter wafts in.

But the river ran when the trail, which may or may not still exist, couldn’t be found for hawthorn bushes and the lingering drunken summer sun

Boot before boot before boot before boot

Blistered hands and broken fingers,

Stinging eyes.

A boy reads a word he’s never seen before, he can’t wrap his tongue around the letters, the book is almost as big as he is.

Piles of coins so low every dirt encrusted wrinkle shines in the superficial light.

The trail got bigger; take a look. Missed it.

Blistered esteem and broken effort; dusty boots and a cap covered by new coats.

There’s a trail somewhere.


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