Katie stood amongst the graves
And pondered on the waste
The bones beneath her feet
That grow ever obsolete.

She had expected to find
In this the garden of the dead
A little light she could shed
On the ways of the afterlife
But only found that this life
Is so little caring, that she despaired
Of the grass that ran wild
Over the abandoned stones
Like the moans of the mourners
Of centuries past, but now the
Names of those they lost are lost also
Shrouded beneath the neglect
Kept secluded by the brambles
As nature swallows back her own
Into the greedy black earth.

So Katie stood amongst the graves
And thought it strange
How the bereft could forget
The bones around her feet
The monuments splayed apart
The engravings that cannot last
The winters and all the rains
The seasons that complain
And wipe away the dead
And make of them a curiosity
This is no cemetery but a tragedy
And man in his pride forgets
That for him too in the end is the crypt
That the only end can ever be in death
And wouldn’t man want a little more
Remembering than the blustering
Of the wakeful grass and weeds
Shaking in the dirty breeze
No memorial in lilies, words on stones,
Just the moan of the flyover
Voices from the canal, life all around,
All memories buried deep in the ground.


Rose Staveley-Wadham