I am a Downsman lost on friendly hills,
snagged in gorse and fretting:
how did I arrive, here,
in this exacting valley?
Maybe my map was wrong,
a route’s turn missed, the
lucky lightning stone lost
on a hurried contour.
Maybe the soft curves of the hard
chalk lead inevitably
here, to a place that was aways mine.
Soon strangers will come,
carry me over the unwanted hill,
give me a child’s help negotiating
stiles and fences towards
familiar paths. Then I hope for
my own full steps, flowing:
down past Thunderbarrow, Rest and be Thankful
and the Crooked Moon hedge.
But for now, see
the sunlight on the black branches:
it is early yet, and the paths are generous.