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I grew up in a small house about a block from Pensacola bay. There was a path down to the bay, and I had a stretch of woods of several acres, and aabout a mile of undeveloped beach to play Tom Sawyer in. A boy can build up a lot of memories over a 15-year period. Every once in a while I go back but can see nothing of my boyhood haunts because the woods are gone, the beach is private property, and the best blackberry patch in Florida is no more.

Who Built this House Upon My Path?

The path is made up of sand and time.

The sand I walked as a boy is still there,
Hidden now,
By someone's home.

The best blackberries in Florida are gone,
Bulldozed away,
So that house which blocks my view
Of the bay,
Could be built.

Homes must happen,
As must life and love,
All of which,
Has happened to me,
As well.

But it hurts that this house should happen,
To stand upon the footprints
Of a memory.

I can hardly see the bay,
Where I used to swim,
And the woods I used to roam,
Are covered now,
By well-kept lawns.

My paths are still there,
At least in memory,
But only I can see them,
And they are secrets that those
Who own the homes,
Will never know about this piece of land.

I never owned a deed upon this land,
Yet I have walked as its lord,
And have owned it in a way,
That they,
The owners of the house upon my path,
Can never hold a paper for.

It matters not who built this house,
Which sits upon my boyhood path,
For,
Within my mind the path,
Remains clearly until I am gone.

And then?

Both house and path will matter not.

12/18/2011
Copyright Donovan Baldwin


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Original poetry by Donovan Baldwin

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Page Updated 7:00 PM Monday 12/12/2011