Secret paths

I draw the paths of childhood.
Trails across a wilderness of grass,
beyond the tidy garden walls and
crisp red houses of a youthful street

A time before the hopeful church
rose behind its lithe Elizabethan cross,
set in modern concrete and forgotten.
Before the pristine county school, now gone

I wander through the waist-high grass,
jumping ditches.  Wet peaty fissures
running slow and silent
out of sight towards the beck

Across the field, invisible to
grown-up eyes, lies the pond
where paths converge on sticklebacks
and crested newts behind a hawthorn veil

And under hedges, dens are made
to hold our secrets safe, where
tea-time comes and goes in childhood
innocence that adults cannot know

Now all that’s left are memories.
The pond is drained to build more streets,
the sticklebacks and newts are gone,
the hedgerows are no more

But sometimes, as I sit and think
of things that made me what I am,
I see the secret paths that run for ever
from that childhood street

© Copyright Kevin Buckle 2013

13 thoughts on “Secret paths

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