Creative Column: ‘Strinesdale’ by Sarah Callender

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Bird’s played and their songs once heard, here.
Here, where I ran on the grass, a young child, feet frantic.
I’m slower in Strinesdale, than last year.
Last year, we walked the lake, from the steps, bottom to top.
Until it got late and afternoon spread the sky,
Like butter, yellow, warm and thick.

I ran against the trees, swaying in the breeze
And ran against the lake until my legs ached.

“Come back!” You sneered. “Be careful.”
The huge hills, huge and black hid me from sight.
One cannot stay in the middle of this.
Shouting, you scorned my silly plight,
And warned the dangers of the night.
“I didn’t run away, I chased the birds”.
But you continued shouting your empty words.

I ran against the trees, swaying in the breeze
And ran against the lake until my legs ached.

Angry, you walked me back up the hilltop;
Until Strinesdale was a dot in the valley of trees.
“Time to go” was our parting gift. “Til next time, please”.
A strong, rigid hand signalled to go through the gate.
I turned back, my eyes with Strinesdale slate.
“There will be time to watch the bird’s play
And there will be time to hear them sing”.

I ran against those trees, swaying in the breeze
And ran against the lake until my legs ached.

Now, Strinesdale’s a lonely place,
Bird-song stifled and displaced.
A space of silence with no more runs;
You laughed: “What is done is done”.
You mocked the fences, the lakes debase.
It seems the new Strinesdale’s just begun.

I run against the roads that make me bored.
And see Strinesdale’s trees no longer adored.

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