St Nicholas’ Churchyard, Lincoln.
I came across a field of stones,
and on each stone a single date,
and on one stone were graved
two words: a child, an infant,
Such motes in starlight hold what must
mute witnesses inscribed in dust.
The playground colours draw the eye,
the blues and pinks, the words,
the windmills, crocks and petals,
and in that moist and morning green,
the stones bedecked with dolls and dreams,
with wilted flowers and present tears,
the parents echo, crowding round,
the sound of children singing rhymes.
From first to last the sleepers wake
to unborn future,
a stone, a name, a single date,
some hours or none,
a child long dreamt,
a breath once taken,
held once, then gone:
a life remembered.