At the back of the churchyard
an oak has rooted beside a grave;
each year the lichened slab is covered with galls.

Searching among tussocks of wet grass
I find celandines, primroses, violets,
last year’s foxgloves
springing again from the base of a plinth;

Reginald William Hobhouse,
Son of . . . Died Oct 27th 1854,
‘Of such is the kingdom of heaven’.

I draw the headstone, yew bark, a rusted gate.
Birdsong contradicts the keen wind.
Nothing is missing, everything is complete.
I draw the oak.

Angela Williams
10 January 2017

Text and images © Angela Williams 2017

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