The Old Ways

by Martha Baldwin

The wet and sunshine,
Brought the best of the trees,
To line the old canal,
To carry our house on the streams,
Their leaves,
A bright asparagus green,
With dimples of light,
Entering my eyes,
My father mumbles,
A familiar homely sound,
As he takes a deep chuff-chuff of his locomotive pipe,
The canal reaches forward,
Like my father’s hand is now,
Towards my shoulder,
The firm grip of his fingertips calms me,
This is a part of the canal I had never seen before,
At least not in real life,
Only in fairytales and stories of heroines and love,
The fresh Yorkshire air trickles into my lungs like dandelion and burdock,
Stroking my house,
I feel the ancient wood,
With all it’s stories to tell,
The things it has seen!
Caressing the soft paint that seals those stories,
Never to be told,
Just our little secret,
The red Tudor roses,
As red as Boleyn’s blood,
The sweet taste of red plum jam and scones still linger in my mouth,
The melodious quack of ducks missing their mothers rings in my ears,
I sigh deeply,
Enjoying the sweet dandelion and burdock breath,
That the old ways bring.