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