Poet, Audrey Austin

Poet, Audrey Austin
This site is to honour my mother, poet, Eva Ruby Austin.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Trip To Wertheim -- a poem by Maggie Kirton

A poem by Maggie Kirton:

A Trip To Wertheim

The penny dropped from her hand
the first of three
into the wishing well below
And she wished she could stay
she wished the sun
would never stop shining
would never stop warming
the smooth cobblestones
beneath her feet
but mostly
she wished she could stay

An ocean away
stood the house
and its rooms
and its secrets

An ocean away
bred the discharge
the pus of dysfunction

An ocean away
very far away

And so mostly
she wished she could stay

She gazed towards the hill
way up near the top
and spotted the walls
half there
half not
The stones of its existance
shone pale and pinkish
in the sun
of a new day
Smooth to the touch
warm and smooth

From the wide of the well below
she gazed towards the hill
Her feet followed the gaze
they simply knew where to go
They led her
embracing the warmth
of the cobblestones
with every step
of little bare feet
towards the hill

She passed the quaint shops
of cheeses
and fish
and breads
and things
She inhaled the fragrances of them
of the river
its shore
its people
and their boats
She exhaled the venom
bred by the dysfunction
and the anger
and confusion
in the house
an ocean away
She felt herself become clean
cleaner with every step
that led her
towards the hill

Alone she climbed the pathway
steep and steeper
lined with the sisters
of the cobblestones below
warmed by the same sun
worn smooth by the same wind 

The change jingled in her pocket
two pennies
one for the well above
and the other
for the well below
for on the way back down
back home
where she wished to stay
Her hand ran along the railings
little fingers
leading her up
up and higher
to the very top
and there she would enter
the broken walls
of the broken castle

Ah! but the dreams that remained
living dreams
within those broken stones

She straddled the wall
at the far side
sat precariously on it
One foot just inches from safety
the other
playing with the air
between her toes
of the cliff
a thousand miles
straight down
She searched the horizon
for nothing important
just looking
just searching
for something
for nothing

Time passed slowly
upon the sunwarmed rocks
lazy and sweet
dripping with insignificance
and curiosity
and little bare feet
swinging back and forth

The penny dropped from her hand
into the wishing well above
in the center of the courtyard
where she counted
until she heard it fall
to the bottom
a long fall
a long count
And she wished again
the same wish

Then once again
back in the center of town
she would drop the last penny
into the well below
and wish yet again
as every day
three times
for the same thing

She would meet her grandfather there
as every day
with open arms
a gleeful cheer
a small public display
And from there they would shop
for the meals
and the snacks
of the day
With her hand in his
they walked home
laden with bags
in the morning sun
her bare feet
caressing the warm cobblestones
her eyes searching out his face
He had only one
one look in his eye
no need for another
it was a matter of trust
An ocean away was mistrust
broken and writhing

But here
with the wishing wells
and her grandfather
she was safe to dream
and hope
and smile
and to engrave in her mind
the sights
and sounds
and smells
of the castle
the sun
the river
its shores
its people
and their boats.
she could be clean
and happy
with her hand in his
her grandfather
with one face
the same every time
she looked into his eyes 

Her bare feet
caressed the cobblestones
their simplicity
as they walked home
where she wished
a little wish
again today
that she could stay

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