If I should come, as well I might
When shadows merge with failing light,
Washed by tints of Autumn scanned
As time and tide walk hand in hand.
So many years, since first we strode
By mossy banks and leaf – strewn road,
Where snuffling hedgehogs bury `neath
The Wealden woodland`s chestnut trees.
By a thorny hedge a wild rose sprawls
Finches squabble on hips and haws,
With shirt – sleeves torn, a boyish laugh
And mud – splashed socks from a storm – soaked path
We ran through a thicket of Alder and Birch,
As the tolling bell sounded from Aldington church
Mellow, insistent, it carried the Weald
Over sheep –laden pastures and tussocky fields.
Down from the Weald to the marsh below,
Where the air is chill and the Blackthorn grow,
Where trees are torn and leeward bent,
Black and seared as the seawind rents
Dank and drear the dykes wind slow,
Dried Sedge rustles and the Bullrush blow,
In lonely vigil a Heron keeps
As Wagtails twitter and a Chiff – Chaff cheaps.
In the gathering gloom on a stump we sat,
Talked for awhile about this and that
And watched the mist swirl up from the dykes
Rolling over the marsh in the eeriy light.
Shivering slightly with stories regaled,
Of spirits and shipwrecks and smugglers tales,
There was blood on the mist from the Westerning sun,
We were SURE we saw carts full of Brandy and Rum.
Smoke from the chimney a welcoming light,
Apple logs on the fire crackling bright,
Hot chocolate and plates full of Crumpets for tea
Oozing with butter for just, you and me.
With Autumn in season and also in age,
In reaping the harvest from memories page,
I still smell the hay bales, sweat on the brow,
Dust from the combine and gulls on the plough.
If I should come .... but I probably won`t
For reality changes .... memories don`