CRACKLEY WOODS - in memory of John and Lilian



A year ago today we left my father’s funeral and went straight to the woods, the path we had all walked together, with my parents before they were too infirm and then with my own children and nieces.  It was a beautiful frosty morning, sun glinting off the crispy grass, the path through the trees lit as if it was beckoning me into my future. When a breeze blew through the woods the last of the autumn leaves started to fall, spiralling down, sprinkling the hoar air like falling stars. We jumped and ran to catch them, as we did when children.

That sad but lovely day reminds of this poem. It was written some years before my parents died, when they were both ill and in pain and would feel and share each other’s burden as if their own.  Over 60 years together they were linked by more than love. Rereading the poem I am suprised by its sadness and my melancholy.  There were hard days and difficult times but what I now remember of their last few years together was how much pleasure they took in each other, how deep was the love of a lifetime and how the small things, the garden, the birds, their grandchildren, a treat of cake, our achievements, would bring them great joy.

 As they wished, they are at peace in the bluebell woods.



CRACKLEY WOODS


Scatter us in the bluebells,
under shady trees,
she pleads, smiling.
Unsmiling, I promise.

Fear stalks them, obsessively

they watch over the other,
the dread of being alone
blights the time left together.

Infirmity creeps, bones creak,
vision fades, memory seeps
away from today to a time
when death seemed distant.

Veils of gloom descend.
On a rare day sun breaks through,
pleasure blooms only to wither
as pain buries patience.

Spring beckons so I pray they
will walk the bluebell carpet
once more before
the woods claim them.


© 2017 Jacqueline Claire Knight.  All rights reserved. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DREAMING BLUE

ANAM CARA, in praise of friendship

MISSING BLUEBELLS

LOVE IN THE AIR

Freedom Kit Bags, HELPING WOMEN IN NEPAL

SPRING GARDEN

AFTER THE RAIN

TREE HEALING

PETRACOS, CAVE PAINTINGS

The Path through the Woods