Saving Gracie (I.P.)
Smoke hung low over the cemetery,
from allotments across the street.
Blows her nose on the sleeve
of her coat.
“Damned bonfires,” she mutters
dabbing at her cheeks. “Damn him
He’d been gone ten years since;
‘a saint’ his congregation called him
and to some, undoubtedly, he was.
Her saviour even; giving her a steady,
well paid, housekeeping job.
She looks beyond the tiny, village
churchyard to scrubland stretching
for miles – barren as her womb
since that fall, down his stairs...
almost two decades ago. Slowly,
she kneels down at his graveside,
crowded by thistles; amongst
the thorns, a thriving clump of rue.
Should she weed it? Like hell
she should; wasn’t his skivvy,
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap”...
the inscription on his headstone.
The man willing to be Father
to all...except their son.