David Cherrett

Washing line

Death hangs in these old villages.
It billows up from time to time,
as laundered sheets do when it’s gusting.

These gusts cluster like buses; those buses
they no longer send to quiet
hillside stops like ours; cut off

the saline drip for such terminal
cases. Kinder, really, you see.
Let them go quietly. Besides

The young have mostly upped and gone
to bigger towns; found and lost
their for-the-weekend jobs.

And back home the laundry billows
once again; sheet-shrouds
blossom up. Two last month.

Each easing snuffs out memories.
The place meanwhile, retrenched,
has lost another smile of relevance.

David spends a lot of time in and writes from the Peak District. An
historian by education, he is particularly interested in the identity and relevance of the rural community as we enter the digital age.