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a special place

For as long as I can remember
This was a special place to me.
Legs sprawled along the grass
Back against the old oak tree
That had clawed its way, I thought,
To tower miles and miles high.
I could look through its branches
To see framed pieces of the sky.
This was the oak that overhung our roof
Sighed and whispered and chatted away
On and on since ever since I was born
Never silent for very long, night or day
As it played and teased
And worked the breeze
In a chorus with
All the other trees;
Behind me the work noise from uncle's shop,
Sounds that changed with the time of year,
Working blacksmith sounds
Normal and reassuring to hear.
To my left the grave of my granddad,
Dead long before his time
Killed by pneumonia
Aged just twenty nine.
Well before I was born.
I hoped he knew it was me there
Knew I helped my dad each year
With the graveyard's care
Scything the grass
Carrying it away
To make little piles
To turn to hay
Which dad sold for a few coins
Not enough to pay all his work
But a little extra, a sort of
Seasonal needed perk.
We hoed and shimmed the paths
To give them a cared for aspect.
A gesture from the living
To show the dead respect.
It was my special place to sit and think
Where I was always at peace and ease,
Amongst the friendly family shades
And my beloved singing talking trees.

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