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Doubling Back

Late November,
the path curves empty across the seawall,
the houses locked in winter silence.

A mist
chokes the cliff and headlands,
folding me in.

In this twist of grey,
I could meet myself rushing headlong,
a child on a summer morning,
four years old
six years old
eight years old
the smell of sun on my skin,
the day stretching like a promise.

Craig y Mor,
the door open,
the hall tumbled with fishing nets
the kitchen fugged,
spiced with Welsh cakes.

My friend and I in the garden
cradling eggs warm from the hen
a squirm of puppies on the lawn,
the scent of crushed mint
reek of fibreglass from a half-built canoe
and the gulls, wide-beaked and calling
riding round and round
on the thermals of my summer.

But now, the door is shut.
No family to sprawl through those rooms,
just the stare of my own reflection
and a neat card offering a holiday let.

I turn away.

The mist holds only my footsteps
and the hollow beat
of rigging from the marsh.

© Vivien Boyes 2014
Written for and performed at Schubertiade 2014

Vivien Boyes is a writer and photographer. She lives in West London but often escapes to Pembrokeshire where her family once had roots. Her career has meandered, without a Sat Nav, through helping to deliver broadcasting training for vicars, to creating soundscapes for BBC radio dramas, with a smattering of published and broadcast writing sprinkled in between. Her children’s book The Druid’s Head was published by Gwasg Gomer and she was a winner of the London Writers’ Competition.