Early this morning, before my head left my pillow,
I stand, mentally dressed, in green outdoor fatigues
and breakfast on warm, buttered toast and coffee.

Opening the window I feel the cold draft of winter
but I push the frame as wide as I can to let it all in.
The frozen air rushes into my nose, stabbing my brain.

I could not be more awake than this, my senses tingling.
Swoosh! The sound of a swift rushing to it’s hidden nest,
darting to and fro’ across the grey painted canvas above.

Pulling up the flaps on my leather boots, stringing the eyelets,
I stand up to pull on my wet-proof, knee-high jacket, tugging
at the elasticated sleeves to cover my exposed wrists.

The path from the old front door is littered with gold.
A barking dog whispers in my ear from some faraway place
as I trudge towards the towering trees in the distance.

Ever-awed by the sight, I stop to admire the canopy as it
cradles me and every other living thing, swaying back and forth
making me feel like a new born babe in its mother’s arms.

Involuntarily my mouth gapes open, aghast at the beauty before me
and I taste the freedom it brings, refreshing my tired lungs,
energising those brain cells that can still be taught something.

The trail is well worn and I walk in silence for mile after mile
without tiring. Cold air stings my lips but I don’t cover my face,
I prefer the interaction and the glow it brings me.

This scene is not new to me. I sit on the remnants of an oak
to take in the view. Through the trees I can see the valley,
shaded in a kaleidoscope of greens, yellows and browns.

Not a living soul has passed me by on this usually busy trail and
I wonder. I touch the oak and I can feel it’s age pass through me
as my fingers trace the rough edges of each successive year.

Closing my eyes I try to recall a previous time when I was here.
I am falling, crashing to the ground. The sound is deafening.
My face, cold against the metal bed. I lie beside my wheelchair.


poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2012


4 thoughts on “Senses

  1. I was with y ou all the way here…feeling those textures, the bracing air, loving nature…and then that slap into reality…a wish fulfillment dream at its best. Memorable!

  2. To begin with, I’m a huge fan of sensory-focused poetry. But the way you’ve woven it into a narration, the surprise ending, makes it all the more powerful To me it speaks of the power of our mind to transcend limitations.

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