Out here the elms echo with the eagle-shout
and sparrow-cry; leaves tune the wind;
the only path is the one your trespass cuts.
Your car is waiting at the forest’s edge
with autumn already falling on its roof.
You bag and bury your mud clad-shoes
before rejoining the nightly homeward grind,
just another commuter locked to a private frequency.
Delay can be explained by deadlines,
accidents or (at a push) affairs. Your wife
would sooner sanction a sexual betrayal
than bless your return here,
the one place still forbidden to you both.
(first published in The Journal, issue 34, late 2011)
Ben Parker lives and works in Oxford. He was shortlisted for the inaugural Melita Hume prize and his debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists, is due from tall-lighthouse at the end of November 2012.