The Grave


We walked amongst graves, the morning on pause,
As the shadows from oak trees fell in a blue gauze
On the tall grass – un-weeded – a yellow brown heath,
With the soil for its gums and with gravestones for teeth.
And we read the inscriptions of names from a time
That was lost to us now – most cut down in their prime
By the wars fought for peace, though it never quite lasted,
Or sicknesses medicine hadn’t yet mastered,
With names that seemed odd from our modern day stance
Such as Agnes and Beatrice and Samuel and Lance.
And in one quiet corner surrounded by flowers
As dead as its occupant, worn through the hours
Of gales and rain, tucked away by the wall,
An inscription that couldn’t be read now at all;
Just a few indentations arranged in a row
With an obscure date weathered away just below.
Who was buried here it was impossible now
To find out, but the grave had become, anyhow,
Just the compost for sextons, where dead stalks were hurled.
The ghost in the half-light of morning’s new world.


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