Poem five out of six.
The Old Way 5
The Old Way now rises,
Leaving the rich damp soil behind
And attacking the ridge.
It becomes a wound, a scar,
A deep, dry incision in the chalk.
It runs up beneath the shelter of ancient trees,
Their roots knotted and matted beside the path,
It passes a mound, faintly visible in the turf;
The ghost of a cottage, if buildings can become ghosts.
Although is there any reason why they shouldn’t?
If they die abandoned, deserted and unloved,
After long years, perhaps only their sadness remains.
There are other ghosts here, too.
You might tell me it is only in my imagination
That I hear the plod of hooves, or
Voices speaking in strange tongues,
That I hear the creaking of cart and harness.
But I have heard them.
I know that we are walking in the footsteps of giants,
And giants do not fade away readily.