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Peaceful Place

There was always that air in the village
As if for a little while the place closed down
Curtains closed in respect as the time came
Houses gazing shut eyed the village around
And in the old churchyard the grave tidied
The edges trimmed and turfed and ready
The supports laid across to hold the box
And the bands there to lower it steady
On that last dignified journey into earth
Slowly we returned the broken ground
Tamped and beat it carefully packed
And what was left made the mound
To be grassed then the tributes laid
Flowers and wreaths for all to inspect
The physical manifestation
Of their last respects
Going back to maybe a funeral tea
Usually close enough to walk
Part of the goodbye process
With healing remembering talk
And after due and fitting time
The curtains opened to admit the light
The whole village drawing comfort
From a ritual performed just right
So many many years later
I returned and walked around
Knew the place of every one
I had helped lay in that ground
Felt the calm of that old graveyard
Now just a monument closed at last
Each mound lying sleeping
Under gently waving grass
But cropped so not too long
An eternal release
Under quiet birdsong
Into rest and peace

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