Walking Through My Family
Solitude here in the winter forest, a single crow
making bare branches aware of my presence,
collie gliding over emerald moss, silent pads,
the hollow where we’ve stopped free from sounds.
I love it here, it’s where many daily walks end,
absorbing the spirit and inhaling the essence,
before returning on a different track, home
of magpies and jays, cackling life we know well.
This is a place to walk through my family,
I absorb their bodies and we travel a while.
My father standing with his son, watching our football team,
gravy from meat pies warming and staining our hands.
My mother making car parts with fingers made for knitting,
finding late happiness alone when back in her south-west.
My sister cycling to a friend on her Pink Witch bike; ready
for her first dance, and now happy alone in her south-west.
I watch my daughter walking from nervous first school
to novice mother; seven-years experienced and still growing.
I walk past a chair that prematurely emptied a couple
of Januarys ago. A son who let go of my hand too soon.
The pale sun is burning fire along the bracken path.
I walk through this fire and listen to the crackle from my boots,
through the gate and home. I’ve had good company, alone, today.
Now I’ll wait for my lady to return, tell her what she’s missed.
Ronnie, with partner Dawn, runs the successful Indigo Dreams Publishing and together they won The Ted Slade Award for Services to Poetry. He has six solo collections to his name and is Poet-in-Residence for the League Against Cruel Sports. Ronnie lives with Dawn and rescue collie Mist in an ex-forester’s house in rural southwest England