Tuesday, April 03, 2007

NaPo 07 #2: Lych Woman

This one comes courtesy of an article I was reading in the Fortean Times on the way home from a farewell party. It's an old joke, but the old ones are the best (or so my 81 year old friend told me while he was trying to chat me up).

Lych Woman

They've carried grandad Clegg across the stiles
and down the hill feet first, their misty arms
a sheen of moonlight joined around his box.

Eyes closed, she watches future histories
parade along the road, each witnessing
a source of strength. The bench beneath
the churchyard gate is damp against her legs,
now numb from sitting still. Old Clegg was good
for sharing gossip over steepened tea -
she'll miss his wisdom when he goes, she thinks.

Another coffin tops the hill, so small
a man can carry it alone. Her John
was four when Jesus called him home
so unannounced, an autumn drowning. Thumbs
of fog massage her shoulders; time to leave
the witnessing and take the straight road home.

The last to pass is fuzzy - just a shape
of light above the muddied path. A voice
behind her whispers: 'Tis yersen, old wife.

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