The early morning sun has not yet melted
ice on puddles which Ed cracks with his stick.
Too thin to bear our weight.
There is a hint of cloud to come.
One route should cross new-ploughed fields
of heavy clods and sticky mud.
Instead we climb a metal gate
and make our way along the grassy track.
Across the valley is Seaton on its hill,
with church and houses sharp in sunlight.
The viaduct stretches its many arches
over the Welland water meadows.
This morning we are five, and paces vary.
I show the others where we might have walked
with heavy-laden boots – this track is better.
Today no long-horned cattle in the field,
sheep in plenty grazing, hardy beasts.
A horse canters across the grass,
a red kite glides on thermals overhead.
At the Jurassic Way we turn towards the lake
The sun has left us, and the wind is chill.
Today there’ll be no blue-gold photos,
though persistent autumn leaves hang on.
We turn from the path to shelter in the trees
and ambush the three others when they come.
Time for the scones and flasks of coffee
the pause a part of walking, a moment to breathe and look.
We turn and face the wind, heading for home
past woods where deer live and loggers work
the path is muddy, grass is wet.
Eddie’s impatient now, and soon outpaces
the slower walkers, charging on ahead.
He knows the way, I say, we’re on home turf,
and soon he’s out of sight and out of mind.
We make our way back at our leisure
and then we go our separate ways
with words to plan next week’s excursion
a little further maybe, we shall see!