(From) The Calderstones
(Camera Obscura, Rockingham Press, 2016)
The park in autumn. Dim thunder,
a child on a swing and arcing
like a pendulum, the red stones
grouped in shadow and safely parked.
Six stones left, but you would know
the place beyond its thickened air.
We have cleared, lost and retrieved, made
rooms in suburban verdancy.
We have left you the grunt of stone
as witness. Sometimes I have thought
I heard sounds from the river, moving
through the marsh, spirits I watched for,
but they did not come. Perhaps you
were here? Against your coming, I
waited. Though watching for long,
still you did not come. I have lived long
but I cannot live much longer,
meantime I bury our dead here
and the red stone crowns them. More, more
they leave, and now I am alone.
Truth is, we're all solitaries
by Calderstones, burying dead,
sharing our time with shattered graves
talking to us, not listening.