On the dirt road that night, a broken thing
with the new patterns leached from its wings –
but no clearer signs, hence no way of knowing
the destination this rough road might become
if I followed the scents these greyish flowers
had already lost guiding me. Scanning
the thorn-fields and with hours before reset,
I could take my time before taking that next step.
Perhaps I’d already arrived where I needed
to be and this low monochrome sky
continues to stream through all possible futures.
Perhaps the true path involves turning back
towards the four-billion-year-old track
rotating like a spiral through the dark
to understand how they failed, and why.
Do the red trees still wait somewhere to fold
my shadow back into their red shadows?
No. That station collapsed aeons ago,
the sound of leaves falling so far from
memory, I’m unsure if it ever existed.
‘So’ by Roy Woolley was highly commended in the 2017 Resurgence Prize with the Poetry School.