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,
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
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.