What you can do if you fall

fall

If you fall down, what you can do

Is let the shock wake you up.

Feel the pain, breathe, shout it out

Or cry. Then, in your own time,

Get back up.

If a friendly helping hand

Extends towards you, take it.

Back on your feet, you may feel bruised

And trembly, unsure of your footing.

Take your time.

Breathe. Check out your bumps and scrapes.

Rub them better, give yourself a shake.

And hope that you have learned

How not to trip again, over the same old

Twisted roots.

Your first steps may be uncertain,

But one day soon you will be

Far along the path, striding happily.

And you will smile ruefully at the memory

Of falling.

The Wildest Path

thorns

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

oppressed me.

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

aside

 

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.

Slightly shamefacedly

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.