A true story, on more levels than one…
Recently, I took a wrong path.
I was uneasy on the flat,
the dog-walking couples in uniform
I spotted a hole in the hedge.
Mistaking it for one of those paths the children make
to the nearest rope swing,
I scrambled, sprang and crawled up
though the intriguing gap.
It seemed like fun awaited,
a path hardly ever taken by anyone.
And the thrill of being odd; not like the others,
I’ll be frank, always entices.
As soon as I emerged, I knew, really,
that I had gone wrong
It was not a path to anywhere.
Uncertainly, but sure I’d find my way
I followed tracks trodden by beasts
They meandered and wandered,
appearing and disappearing,
skirting a steep slope.
Watching my every step on the rough ground,
I pressed on; I saw the flowers in the field,
the beautiful wide sky, the larks sang for me…
But I knew I should not be there.
I was nervous, on private land
On and on I went along until I met a hedge,
a barrier that seemed impassable.
And so I backtracked, climbed a fence
and gained a thicket pierced by badger’s sets and trails.
I crawled and ducked and pushed the whippy branches
But the further I went, the more tangled
the way became, with
thorns, and nettles, brambles and
old dead bracken. I had to step very high
not to trip and fall.
Determined, convinced I was making some progress,
I struggled, barbs tearing my skin,
pulling my hair, clutching at my clothes
I pushed and pushed, I sweated and I shed blood,
and finally, I was free!
I’d found my way through!
But where was I?
Back in that same field!
With no way out
except the way I’d come
Immediately I turned around.
Decided to chalk it up to experience.
I scrambled back down
through the hole in the hedge.
I emerged on the sand
with everyone else
and I took the shortest way home.