poetry and prose about place

tough to follow

with 6 comments

In high school, in Nova Scotia, I belonged to a history club.  We did an interesting project in about 1971, tracing the route of an old stagecoach trail through the woods between Lower Sackville and Fall River.  We were able to follow the road since it had been raised above wet ground.  We also found old culverts still intact.  One of the things we made was a relief map of the area, with the hills built up in plaster and the old road marked in red.  The project created, for me, a lifelong interest in old roads.

old trail obscured by a Bracken understory


tough to follow


the old road at the edge

of the hill is tough to follow

no clues, no footprints, no bent twigs


eventually all familiar ways

grow over


a layer of bracken

covers the track

like a cloth over biscuits

at the dinner table


primo-canes of bramble

claw you back

your mother reminding you

to wear your sweater


better to look up

follow  the ribbon of sky

marked by the absence of branches



Published as ‘tough to follow’, Canadian Stories 15 (85), June 2012

Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

November 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. Nice intro to a fine poem. Each metaphor forced me to stop and think about it, and when it sunk in it was there to stay. The power of words when put together with such care!


    Jane Fritz

    November 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    • Hi Jane. Thanks! I am glad to know you like the poem. It belongs to a new set of poems on ‘abandonment’ I am working on. Jane


      jane tims

      November 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

  2. I love the photo of the ferns.



    November 10, 2012 at 2:49 am

    • Hi Rosie. The green seems far away on this November day. Jane


      jane tims

      November 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      • Is it snowing over there?



        November 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      • No snow, only rain. We had a little snow last week, but it has all melted. Just drear November. Jane


        jane tims

        November 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

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