Excitement livens my breath.
I’m headed back,
into the woods full of memories;
hours spent trailing behind our family pooch,
through ferny tongues, thorny tangles
and thick ivy tendrils.
High-fiving trees that reached out to catch me
when I slipped, often, in the mud.
She rests at home today,
sun too determined
for her paws and dark, greying coat
to fend off.
Yet my longing for familiar adventure
That is, until I catch sight
of her favourite path.
Opened out, cut back.
So bare and stark
that it’s a stranger, an unknown entity
I’ve bumped into
on the way to my actual destination.
Except this alien place,
with its look-alike trees –
reminiscent of beautiful oaks
I once paused to catch my breath by –
surrounded by dry, cracked soil
instead of elegant green skirts,
is no stranger at all.
Just a dusty, sad friend
I wish I could care for,
but who is being held, encouraged to fade,
by keepers I cannot reach.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!