They’re lost. I know before they tell me. So
I offer help: consult their map and guide
And see at once which way they’re meant to go;
There are no secrets that this place can hide
From me. I could, if asked, say how this lane
Links up with every other; bend their ears
For hours with village gossip; and explain
Each field’s crop rotation down the years.
Yet though I speak with such authority
This local knowledge, intimate and broad,
Is not the resident’s, but memory:
I’m long gone – no house here I can afford.
Life’s handed me this pair of travelling boots,
But it will never rip me from my roots.