Hall Green 
We’ve wandered, not lost

We’ve hiked around the houses
Until we know them by heart
Coats over pyjamas and scarves wrapped double
Streetlamps cast our shadows as other characters


We stare without subtlety into stranger’s front rooms
Imagine how lives might have unfolded in neat rows
Victorian abodes with green plaques and overgrown laburnum trees
Prefab dwelling with wildflower lawns and washing lines and longevity


In Springtime, the scent is a siren
That leaves you hungry in its wake
A star-sprinkled eiderdown of allium
Lingers sleepily on our skin


We watch as ghost trails of grateful neighbours
Tread paths amongst the woods
Sneak bulbs away to fill their bellies and heal their wounds
As mothers and soldiers once did


We picture Tolkein chasing daydreams with Sarehole as his muse
Glance a kingfisher hunting between bluebells on the Cole
Befriend Ents standing guard in the Bog
A dragon napping atop a hoard of books–


We grew up knowing the world was wider
Than our own feet could take us
Yet since our routines were paused
And our days became still:


We have learnt that adventure can be found in every journey
That you should return home holding a story aloft
That time can be travelled in memories and miles
And that to wander is far from being lost.

by Hannah Swingler