A Poem for October

The Grand Yew – All Saints’ Church

I visit this graveyard often,
the gravid whispers of the dead verdant,
rising from beneath the long unkempt grass
to commune with the wind touched trees,
leaves trembling under the unfleshed force.
I listen resting on the plaqued bench –
For J.J. Berryman, Husband
To Margaret, Father to John and Craig” –
shaded by the dark canvas of the Grand Yew,
for seven centuries a guardian
standing at the Gate of the Dead,
guiding all souls through, as all are worthy,
shaped from the first innocent breast.
Its trunk – ravaged, twisted and split,
by the entropic cuts of time and men
still, through some wondrous mechanism,
continues to feed its green canopy –
now stands fenced to protect it from
the casual vandalism
of school children passing to and from
The Howard, host to the opposite of solitude,
but they too, in time, will fall beneath its spell
and tread the path mapped by its prescient sprigs.

By Bhi Twobe (a local resident)

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