Do you remember Barrow hill, with church
of pitted stone, where sleepers rest until
an angel blows dreams away. Once we walked
around flowers of plastic, past stone lies,
and out a wooden gate, to wander down
past fields in flood and ash now winter bare,
to this cottage of turf and broken stone,
with thick yew hedge to beat back wind and rain
You watched as inside, upstairs, Sunday best
was tissue shrouded for its weekly tomb
as rain pit-patted on the window glass.
Finished, she sat on the bed’s edge and wept.
with bible cradled in arms long empty.
Silence comforted until sunlight peace
warmed smiles and kisses for the holy book.
Rising, with apron tight and hair commanded,
she shelves truth for love of both goat or sheep.
I waited downstairs by scrubbed pine table,
laden with dishes of yellow margarine,
and jam labelled red with pillow bread
to make a wish:
for white linen, a dish of butter sun,
blackberry jam scenting of summer warmth
and oven bread too warm still for slicing.
We left a kettle’s whistle summon down
to feast of tea and sandwich now eaten
in contentment that God rests as crows caw outside.