Monday, August 18, 2008

Redeeming the time

We lay - father and son - in a midnight wood
under a fallen birch tree,
with a plastic sheet
tied across the broken boughs for a ceiling.

This was my final fling
my bid for freedom before the holiday ended.
Work strained at its leash,
growling deadlines in my subconsciousness.

This was my last chance to make a memory
worth taking to the grave
before the tyrant of my time
jealously demanded me again..

I toyed with many options and
only tossed this one half heartedly to you,
expecting no response.

But your voice and your eyes
shone with instantaneous adventure.

We cycled out, racing the setting sun,
exploring the woods, spiralling slowly from bridlepath,
to footpath, to deer track, to fallen trees
to a shelter for the night.

You woke me in the early hours,
long after the owls had ceased to call.

You were cold.
We fixed you up with extra wrapping then the rain began.

There was no wind to speak of.
The rain fell under the influence of gravity alone
in long straight water-needles
stitching 3D soundscapes in the darkened trees.

You asked me questions,
not for information but for reassurance of a father's voice nearby.

And I gave you my words,
half asleep but shining like a light
underneath the dark rain-curtained trees.

Sleep was fitful but the peace was deep.
The memory was deeper still
and long may serve us both
with love.

(c) A McN


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