The road was lonely unpopular
scenic, but handsome not beautiful,
masculine with dull menace.
Now flexing its resistance
too long for a single day’s cycling
tent – an uneasy night
dawn, then gone – ASAP
almost there – but time for a break
food and water
an eruption of gravel as a car brakes urgently
Until vision is convinced
an elderly woman is running across the road.
She and her friend peddled the same road, 60 years before
forest then and pumice and sand
billy and frying pan tied to leather saddlebags
canvas tent and girl guide camping.
She smiles and laughs and talks
and talks and laughs and smiles
She is on a journey –
retracing hers steps, chauffeured by her son
nostalgia as virtual reality – it has made her pilgrimage.