The Path

Outside the gates we turned left,
my first time exeunt in that direction,
every other time it was ‘Exit Right’.

My stick ticked dust as the dog chased
her foreign prey of too-quick lizards,
one easily found, but dead, tyre-pressed.

Your perimeter wall merged into the next,
running the width of both properties,
two modern houses in olive-aged spaces.

Then another wall, but low, redoubled
with sticks, broken tiles and half plates,
homespun solutions from the roadside.

Behind it a squat building, a house,
appended by rusty corrugated metal,
poorly repaired, an unpaid maintenance.

Soon the path ended at such baronial gates,
a wrought iron statement of a loud arrival,
that brusque Englishman’s whitewashed castle.

And we turned, to walk back, alongside
the open field, ‘ploughed on the perimeter
to hold back the snakes,’ your explanation.