June Hall

Homewards

“”We’re all just walking each other home.”
—Ram Dass—
I
Shapes cluster geometric in crescent, avenue, square.
Ring-road follows the sweep of Georgian Circus,
swings on to intersect with tyning, combe, parade.
Prospect with views, perfect or imperfect,
blocks cut from limestone hills –future landscapes.

Gridlocked or flowing, traffic curls
round the newly sand-blasted art museum
with glass-green cube tacked on its back
as undeclared baggage:
the weight of generations and their bequests.

Difficult to move forward.
Walking each other home the past pulls us back.
The winter afternoon feeling loops round
to the gloom of Gloucestershire schooldays.
Cramp tightens the stomach.

Physics homework, Thursdays.
All evening on the phone. No questions. Shame.

Adult brains connect:
reverse, revert, remember, restore,
re-assemble Assembly Rooms, Pump Rooms, Spa pools,
jets point homewards to homework.
Home is where we begin again and again.

II
Midlife explores neural pathways,
reverts to known favourites. Hope is not frozen
but squeezes into many shapes.
It enlarges dreams, wriggles into pregnant pauses,
expels and flattens air..

Some go under with their hopes,
some swim, all shapes, sizes. Reversals
from cradle to grave. Instant forgettings.

Genes may determine obstacles on the road
or shapes coded to ask for love or to be loved.

Blocks for building, communication,
constructing walls – till they fall, too tall
and the process goes viral.
Letters tumble from the Scrabble box
twisted DNA chains, parent-power stalls.

Home is the space we always shadow,
never forget. Ageing finds the magnet
to attract return.

June Hall lives in Bath, married to the novelist, Greg Hall. She has published three collections with Belgrave Press: The Now of Snow (2004), Bowing to Winter (2010) and Uncharted (2016) and a newly published pamphlet with Grey Hen Press What If? (7 th April 2021).