THE OLD COTTAGE
here had been a garden once
now cats came to die invisibly
amongst the remnants of roses
the tumbled swathe of climbers
they lay in the dragging rave of weeds.
human needs had been here too
through the door now caved in
onto flagstones gashed by hobnails,
and a curtain still hung in a kind of grace
curseying at the nourishing light
life carried on by feel inside,
by oil and candle at the aching of night
on hearth and stair the ache of toil,
a water pump denied
still braced in its socket, a legacy unstirred.
A ceiling trodden through
a cage of laths unleashed
thatch holes visible to the sky.
Skin and bone hardly divisible,
the smell of decay
now gone those spirits, gone the day.