Walking Like a Fool

I was inspired to write a poem about journeying today. Dedicated to all wayfarers, but especially to my friend R. (you know who you are!).

The Wayfarer

I didn’t just up and leave on the spur of the moment, you know. I always knew that I was going to run away sooner or later, and I had made plans ahead of time, for whenever I decided to go.
Shirley Jackson, Louisa, Please Come Home

The door was open
in a timely gesture
of respect for my
pilgrim’s staff.
The host had already
made himself scarce
out of fear that
he might incommode
me with his clean
squeaky boots and
his prim and proper
cloak. So as soon as
the logs in the
fireplace had quietened
down a little, I
took up my change
of smiles, the bottle
of agitated spirits and
the insignia of the
chosen – dubitable
amulet, long out
of use – and went.
When I was twenty
steel-hearted miles
away, I remembered
I’d forgotten to
bring shiny metal-
crumbs with me.
Maps hadn’t been
invented yet. I
was standing by
myself, cold yet
hardened, in the
middle of a foreign
road. I was cut
off from salvation.
I trudged ahead,
all distances
lost to me.

The Fool card, Raider-Waite tarot
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