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Escargatoire

 

First instincts are to brush away

these squatters on your headstone,

 

but maybe, behind my back

they trail colour and light

 

into this dark shade from the ash tree.

And so I stand –

 

like a heron in a still river – until

they slide one by one

 

over the words engraved

on the stone, hanging

 

silver bunting from your name

Under fragile armoury

 

of purples, pinks and greens,

stripes and circles,

 

lies the softness

of plumped up cushions,

 

the cool dripping

of a fountain on sweltering days.

 

Sometimes they touch,

passing to and fro

 

as if they have nothing better to do.

I turn away quietly,

 

leave the just planted begonias

to them all

 

soft-step back along the path.

 

 

© Valerie Morton

Picture 12009035, design by Tess Hines, circa 2018, image copyright Mary Evans / Tess Hines Designs

 

 

Valerie is the author of two poetry collections, Mango Tree (2013) and Handprints (2015), both published by Indigo Dreams Publishing, and her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She is the publisher of Elephant (A Poetry of Elephants) edited by Rebecca Gethin.  Since 2017 she has been Poet in Residence at a Hertfordshire Pinetum. She is a member of Ver Poets.

 

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