Walking away

SW Coast Path 2014-2017 Poole to Par

We walk the wrong way
against received wisdom
reading the guide backwards
with the wind in our faces
and the sea on our left.

We pace ourselves
with short bursts over years.
The dog laces our steps
as we press into contours –
sandstone, granite, slate.

We repeat ourselves
doing maths with the miles
looping back and forth
with the cars, the worsening news,
the early deaths of friends.

Walking awayWe tread in step
together on the flat
falling apart on higher ground
never quite expecting to be
where we find we are.

Soon we will turn the corner.
With the sun behind us
we will face the other way
and begin to  walk away
from ourselves.

First published in Exclamat!on Volume 1, Number 1 June 2017, Exeter University