Poetry (Day 168): Yesterday




The path still leads
from the back of the house,
down through the gap toothed fence.
It follows the snaking gully
carved by the overflow
from the water tank.

Once the gully was filled
with never more
than a trickle;
a gentle reminder
of morning rain
or of my father
cleaning the gutters.
(Stay quiet, move quickly,
in case he notices.)

Now it is a dry, sheer sided,
meter deep canyon
to dwarf long-gone seed pod boats
and muddy toes.

The trail, once bare
from use, is overgrown.
Grass tickles, fallen branches scratch,
as I follow the voices down the hill.

The pond at the bottom
is as dry as the gully.
Like me, the dock is lichen-grey with age.
My children sit at the end,
shoes off, feet padding
in a golden, ever-moving
sea of grass.

The old dinghy has a new mast
sprouting through the broken hull.
One oar remains,
the red blade faded and peeling.

It’s not as good as it used to be, I say.

But the children don’t notice.
They have boarded the boat
and are setting sail
for places I haven’t seen in decades.


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