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We Walk Through This Forest

By: Valentine Hanson

About The Poem

This piece is simply about and inspired by the area that I live and what I’ve seen and felt during this past year. It’s a slight rant, love letter and call to peaceful arms all at once.

The Poem

We walk through this forest and we see bear baiting of a modern
kind, despite the words Be Kind, and look for remedies to reboot
the mind.

We walk through this forest and hear clapping on doorsteps, and
catch glimpses of rainbows on windows that reflect on the depths
that we have swam in, tread on water, mourn for a loved one. We
pine for seeing our daughters and sons, our mothers and fathers
and kin, and wish that the sun rises above and within.

We walk through this forest, and hear the topic of foodbanks where
many of us visit and give thanks, yet wonder if those from affluent
“ends” in this forest will ever know how much the wills of those less
fortunate can bend and break. How black lives matter, elders
inspire, other faiths and languages can spark off a welcoming fire.

We walk through this forest, to break away from our screens, to
catch a lungful of air and view vast greens. We sit, laugh, provoke
and sing, stay in our bubbles and mull over meaningful things.

We walk through this forest and see others staring down avoiding
the eyes, sidestepping the frown, immersed in a smartphone haven
that snaps, tweets and tocks. Our gaze fixed, refuses to unlock. And
masks that cover mouths that spew points of view, as others type
opinions with vigour, venom and verismilitude.

Yet in this forest, there is youthful play. A chorus of song carried on
a Sunday. Readiness. Togetherness. A hand clasped in another. A
determined jogger. A neighbour. That smiles at you. A family.
Many. Close knit in love. No matter the colours of the clouds above.

I walk through this forest and see this place. This urban space. As
we pace. What we face. By whatever grace. And see endless
possibility. In this forest. With this human race.

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