Sycamore limbs filter green gold light
falling on a bed of soft green velvet moss.
Grey limestone, rough and worn
by years of rain.
Shadows shuffle in dappled space
with cursive chisel strokes.
Spokes and shades of lean and hungry years,
they came riding low on shuffling trains
of hunger pangs.
Beggars fleeing death on corpse crammed
Rumbling bellies and tormented eyes,
snarling dogs snapping at skeletal heels.
A son of wealth with hands to build
saw and adze to fashion an estate.
A gift of words and music made him gentle,
a well travelled fiddle wrapped in hide
hung by his bone rattled side.
His girl a ladies maid with apple blossom
in her cheeks and steel in her stubborn back.
A pulse and promise beating in her growing breast.
Snow frozen, hungry hide and faces
hunched shoulders under jute sacks,
a ragged defence to fight the biting blizzard
and the darkness
At his neck a paper deed, a sworn agreement
a pact and route to making better lives
They were my father’s people, grandparents,
walking cold on ancient roads to our home.
At rest here now in hard won earth
forever foreign to them even in death
We the scions of a fortunes trail.
salute the brave.
Heroes from whom
our humbler seeds fell