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In Memory of Emily

By Ruth Calder Murphy (Arciemme)

The park is awash with Autumn -

russet rustling like drizzle on crystal;

reds and golds falling in a blaze of Glory,

knowing the story always comes to this end

before turning again and starting anew…

Acorns drum a tattoo

on the broad shelf of the bench

(“in memory of Emily,

a poet who found inspiration here”)

and rest in the lap of the ghost

who sits, invisible,

remembering

echoes of every tumbling falling -

every Autumn every year,

that revels here...

The shape of her knees becomes acorns and leaves;

her glasses and her best brooch

- the purple one

with the lizard on

that she loved so much -

are turned into tokens of seasons

and her poetry to the whispering in of Winter.

A fairy ring has sprung around her feet,

snuggling the ghosts of slippers.

I hear her sigh on the twilight breeze,

one with the leaves,

eating memories of berries for supper

and drinking the dew in the morning.

The thermostat drops to shivering point

but someone does not walk over her grave -

they sit in her lap with the acorns

and make the goosebumps go away…

And the spectre of a smile slips to her phantom lips,

remembering how her lap was filled

once-upon-a-time,

with babies and cuddles and nursery rhymes,

before it was only bones

with a shining plaque in a golden park

and a leaf-loved seat where seasons meet

in memory of poetry.

Listen to this poem on YouTube

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