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GONE ARE ..............
Gone is the hot sun, the lush green colours,
the newly formed leaves, the flowered meadows,
the happy hay makers.
Gone are the flatlands, the river gorges,
the vine laden slopes, the high mountains
and cascading glaciers.
Gone are the maps, guidebooks, the signs,
the red and white blazes and footprints.
Gone are the gites-d'etape, the campsites,
the hotel rooms where I lay my body to rest.
Gone are the friendly people of foreign lands,
their customs and way of life.
Gone are the French rolls of bread,
the petit dejeuner and wines from Alsace,
Moselle, Lausanne and Bordeaux.
The boots, rucksack, tent, and stove gather dust.
The walk has ended but the memories live on.
(Copyright John N. Merrill 1982 after walking across France).