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TREAD by Alice Jacobs

Arts Richmond

Online - 18 September 2020

TREAD by Alice Jacobs

There is a Polynesian belief that life is lived facing

towards our ancestors, from whom we take our guidance.

 

Backwards

we advance

step by blind step

as the years unspool: before us, our past,

and as the view lengthens,

more light is cast on our path.

In the darkroom of our consciousness,

outlines appear,

directions and intentions develop

and a sense is granted to our wanderings.

 

But this thread in the labyrinth, unravelling before us,

offers no lead.

We are abseilers:

passed from hand to hand,

it belays us into our future, makes clear our meanderings

but not their end.

 

The unknown beckons us, like Orpheus,

over our shoulder –

“Turn, turn, face your fate” –

but we know we cannot, must wait

for time’s steady tread

to reveal itself

beneath our feet

and to lead us

on into

our dark

beyond.

 

from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.


TREAD by Alice Jacobs

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