Pathway in the Park
The winter sun was sinking. It was getting rather late.
Our parents would be waiting at the park’s main entrance gate.
“Make sure you’re back by sunset!” That had been Dad’s final word,
But Mum chose to repeat it to make sure that we had heard.
Because I was the oldest, Dad had said I was in charge,
Adding: “Stay together always!” since the park was very large.
Also quite important was to stay close to the track,
For then we’d simply follow it to make our way straight back.
We walked downhill some distance, then we found a little creek.
This turned out really excellent for playing hide and seek.
The trees and boulders by the banks were great to hide behind
And in the creek some coloured stones, I felt, were quite a find.
The time there passed more quickly than I ever realised
So when I glanced down at my watch, I really was surprised.
“We’ve been here much too long!” I cried, “It’s time for us to go.
We can’t afford to take our stones. They’ll make us far too slow.”
The others tried to argue, but I wouldn’t change my mind.
The pathway back was steep uphill, so stones were left behind.
We hid them underneath a bush and hoped to come back soon
To find and play with them again, some other afternoon.
The sun no longer warmed us and we felt the winter chill.
The wind blew in our faces as we climbed the steps uphill.
The shadows grew much longer and the sky was turning red.
Our legs were getting weary, but we faced more steps ahead.
Beyond the steps, in fading light, our pathway took a bend
And as it curved off to the right I thought we’d find the end,
But still the path continued on. No gate came into view.
Nor was there sign of Mum or Dad. What were we going to do?
The path was now all we had left to guide us to the gate,
Since round us everything was dark and we were awfully late.
The wind was whistling eerily: a mournful sort of sound.
We huddled close together and our hearts began to pound!
Just then I thought I heard a shout. It sounded like my name.
“I’m here!” I cried with all my might. The others did the same.
Despite the dark, we knew the voice, it clearly was our Dad
And though we were in trouble, I could not have been more glad!
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #38
Monty says: For me the first challenge was to find a suitable narrative involving children for the setting in the prompt. From a basic scenario based loosely on personal experience the rhyming verse was developed with the aim of providing enough colour and detail to achieve an appropriate level of tension and resolution.