Memory is a laughing girl, eager, unafraid.
See how she streaks, quick and unruly,
untrammelled as her sun-spilled hair,
with never a care in this shimmering world
nor yet a glance over her pale, freckled shoulder.
Now the days of half a century trouble her less
than the fuzzy recollections of a week ago.
Still she follows the path that teases and twists
to where she will falter and stumble.
Here there waits the child who ran brave
and head-back breathless through
the skulking tea-time trees.
Once she thought her heart would be lost,
swallowed by that fairy tale forest.
Now she see a clearing, a shaft of light,
and a hedge as dense as a wall.
From behind it rises like the not long dead
the voices of a dozen women working.
One of them sings in clear high tones
above the clamour of their children at play.
It is late afternoon when the roosting sun
burnishes the slope of the roof tops.
From out the long shadows a hook-nosed crone
comes creeping to bless the way.
Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance, Cornwall where she lives with her singer/songwriter partner David and her little dog, Percy. Formerly a teacher of English and English Literature, her work has now appeared in more than a hundred journals, magazines and anthologies and on several continents. When she is not actually writing or performing her work she is most likely to be reading, hooking rugs or walking by the ocean.