Fossil

Today, it finally hit me as I headed home, ache-lagged.
But, as a child I was called ‘Bell-fast’:
A short-lived nickname on the long walk to school,
because my stride got me there in record time:
One ‘The Guinness Book of..’ never cared about.

There was a hedge-thatched ditch,
a slow shallow run of ore-orange silt,
along part of that route to and from school,
(‘before the motorway was built’)
I would not get sucked in, I was walking too fast.

Except one day, rare-slowed, I pulled a fossil from the stream:
A heavy stone, shaped as if a pear, but halved, sliced clean,
stamped with an ancient leaf, it seemed.
Lifted from that school-route ditch,
I wondered then, ‘why me’, with that find;
as I shuffle now, I wonder ‘why me’, again.

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