ER (Aug 8,1918 / Teddington, England)

Century House

The five-age walls feel the wind from blue waters
overhung in the cool witch-chimney,
and the ghost heart of a summer wife, waking,
has recalled the sleepy fables
told all to the sun and her cradled daughters,
and how there was gold on the breast of a swanbird
whn she sang to the river children.

She remembers the Easter firefly kisses
dancing from his dear lips,
and the two of them in the early shadows,
waiting bold as Welsh fairies
for moonlight over the dark home hills.

She has replaced the growing thorns
with roses of yesterday;
white as the leading phantom petals
she smiles through palace years,
and the wind from blue waters steals
to the thrush for her homely garden voice
- to the sundial for her tears.

by Eric Ratcliffe

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