The first drip began to change his mind.
It had been a long year since the Welsh churchyard;
he’d thought he could manage alone.
The children had gone back over the border;
they had their families
safe in the sunshine beyond the Severn.
Many times through the damp years
he’d patched and thatched the wormy timbers,
beside the old pan on the hearth,
every drip fell,
measuring his loneliness,
while there beyond the misted pane,
brambles reached out over the old cabbages,
reclaiming their wild inheritance.
the children took him back,
cared for and loved,
safe with his family beyond the Severn,
his loneliness abandoned to the ruin in its narrow valley
beside the tumbling Marlais.
Interested to see, a later generation returned.
The ash roots clasping the last corner of the cottage wall;
young sycamore and thorn shrouding the remnants of yard and barn;
their grandparents’ dream,
cold under the trees that dripped year by year,
and the slow moss
advancing over the fallen stones.
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