A Long Walk Into The Sunset, poetry by Stanley Wilkin at Spillwords.com
Jack Sonnick

A Long Walk Into The Sunset

A Long Walk Into The Sunset

written by: Stanley Wilkin



I thought about the valleys I walked down, the serrated conifers
Grasping at the air,
Witham, Coggleshall, Mersey and Lynn, gathering whelks and winkles
On stony beaches with shallow waves.
Boundstead Brook proliferated by newts,
The food of birds.
Wivenhoe with its ancient harbours
Bristling with angled fishing rods.
Red Roman ruins and Norman keeps
Under every hedgerow.
I thought about my children
Adults now and far away. With memories of their own,
Wives and children tucked away in red brick homes with
Inappropriate conservatories sticky-taped to the rear. Granite houses
Where the rich resided, and still do, as money never dies. It can
Be banked on to survive our own forgotten deaths,
Timelessly snug, buried in reckless cities
Sliced and diced by rapidly
Flowing rivers, my journey signalled by elegant storks, the
Aristocrats of telephone poles.
And the wheezing songs of traffic, the eloquent hums juxtaposed
By barking horns that together make symphonies.
I considered the number of steps I took
To reach the ruins
Packed together like broken teeth in a blackening gum,
And settled back onto a rock.
I sensed that if I kept on walking, I would continue to the end
A grey line smudged by blue
Punctured by loping hills that continued
Instantaneously, breezes signalling my steps. Multiplying my reach. Eternalising my tread.
Each step accomplished with comforting precision.

As I walked, I reached my past,
Where we all end up. Which we cannot avoid.
The landscape bunched and got smaller,
As I became again a child.
The roundabout was moving slowly
Spun by ghosts.
In the distance was my home, now a toy.
My pedal bike was moving alone.
My younger self faded already.
The slides were occupied by the old
Their breath stuffed with nicotine, their
Creaking limbs cracking in unison.
Our accumulated tears flowed upstream
Moving slowly as they reached the dam
Moving quietly into silence.

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