Rona Cracknell, Summer 2020
My solitary walks are in the local cemetery.
I read as I start walking – there’s a plaque beneath each tree:
“Aged 21”, “Killed on the Somme” or he was “Lost at sea”
Beyond this avenue of trees commemorating strife
Are further texts remembering a loving family life:
“Sacred to the memory of a beloved wife”
The graveyard’s on a hillside, the slope is fairly steep,
And where it flattens out, the tiny graves could make me weep:
“Our baby son”, “Aged 14 days” and many “Born asleep”
The family plots, so numerous, are oft engraved with rhyme
Extolling virtue, fortitude, perfection, love sublime –
And meek acceptance of a higher power ‘calling time’
They cling to a belief, a faith, thatdeath is not in vain,
“Gone to a better place”, “With God” “Our loss is Heaven’s gain”
I walk among these headstones, speaking love,concealing pain.