I got off at the wrong station last night,
Miscounted the stops. Realised too late
Alighted to save face. The evening
Was hot and hazy. One of those nights
When serendipity stalks. A cruel mistress
She is sometimes, but kind this night.
I pushed off away from the station
Up the pleasant lane of brick and black
And white houses, heading to the main road.
Then I saw it, the sign for a path undiscovered.
Tyres quitted tarmac and went silent
On compacted dirt. The path sliced narrow
Between suburban gardens, golf links
And forgotten patches, bramble lined and overgrown.
A very English jungle.
Spiny tentacles fingered the
Spokes of my wheels like a harp. Gravel
Pinged from my tyres like buckshot from a sling.
Wild garlic filled my senses, the path snaked
Gently down over cobbles and roots until
the evil fizz of traffic became a roar.
I shouldered the bike, heavy with daily bags
And climbed the motorway footbridge,
A narrow pontoon of concrete across a raging river
Of urgent metal. I stopped a moment to see
If I could see the whites of the drivers’ eyes
Through the glass. I could. On another day
That would be me, a rabbit caught in my own
I descended the bridge and followed the path
Cut by foot and wheel beside a vast field of wheat,
Its green heads swaying. Past the horses itching
Against rough hewn fences. Past the man walking his mastiff.
The path ended as it had to, finally spitting me out
On sadly familiar tarmac. I spun home happy though,
Knowing I’d charted new courses, ground new gravel,
Just a few miles from home. Later I pondered
The law of happy accidents.
Posted from WordPress for Android