Paul Steffan Jones 1st


 

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Y Dieithriaid/The Strangers

user image 2022-06-20
By: Paul Steffan Jones AKA
Posted in: Poetry

A kitchen table

1953

its wood surface lined by

the scratching and scraping

of five thousand meals

gravitated around by people I haven’t met 

save through the study of dry documents 

lichen edited inscriptions 

and reverential anecdotes 

they’re gathering as if for an important event

in the calendar of living 

I’m kind of hovering like I did in real life

trying to listen in to the language of condolence 

the wording of commemoration 

the patois of those well known to one another 

the music of best china

touching
 

my 12 year old mother is here

with the other females

permitted at the house

to help with refreshments

and friendships 

but not at the open grave

she will grow into a Bardot

of the school bus

the chapel pews

the perambulating lanes

the first job 

until marriage and me will alter 

that possibility 

that destination 

a member of the branch

of the suicide sister in law

is among the mourners 

death grief thief of time

but healer of familial discomfort 

at the chapel in the forest

among the crabbed literature of wreaths 

one dedication reads

from all at Police House L-V-

32 miles and a half century away 

from the great uncle of the deceased

who had ridden from those walls

to collar the lawless of his day

from the first day of that county’s constabulary

these were the days of the start

of our separation from our beginning

our unravelling 

when we forgot so much 

of what we were and what was us

our relatives and their dwelling places

the reason for our being 

a time too when we became unfamiliar 

with horses 

their aroma

their voices

their muscularity 

their fidelity 

when we became a little less human

a little less animal

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