RIGHT TO ROAM
The human race has always roamed. From the high plains
to the rivers, from the mountains to the sea. I condemn those
who, in our current climate of suspicion, would deny me my right
In my young days, I would roam far from home, my only companion
a tuna sandwich. Many were the happy afternoons when I would roam
the hills and glens towards some distant abode, roam through someone’s
back door and around their kitchen, savouring the sights and smells
of food simmering upon a stranger’s stove.
Many were the characters I would meet while roaming: travellers
with tales to tell, housewives with raised eyebrows, policemen.
As a young man, I spent a happy year as a gentleman of the road,
wandering the countryside lanes and the brambleberry paths of
my youth, taking pleasure in the song of the lark, the call of
the wild, the sound of an approaching siren.
But those days are gone. Those simple steps I once took are now
halted by electric fences, warning signs, cameras and private
minefields. While I stand foursquare behind those who would seek
to protect their property and women from trespassers, indigents,
so-called travellers and dogs wearing a cravat, I will confess
to melancholy at the loss of the basic freedom which once allowed
a happy bearded youth to investigate the gardens and windows of
my fellow man.