The gravestones are laughing

Charles Cowling

3070143455

 

In Winwick Churchyard by Josh Ekroy

 The gravestones are laughing. They tilt
at each other’s shoulders, droll tears of lichen
blotching their honourable faces. Seated in uneven
rows in their auditorium they note church-goers
squinch the gravel path to the embossed door.
Some lean backwards in mock amazement,
others forward, study the half-mown grass
or slap their thighs, whisper behind their hands —
only one stares in vertical — at man that is born
of woman, a joke they refuse to explain.
But the upright rectangle between the medlar
and the lych-gate, marbled in its twenty-first
century is excluded from the pleasantries,
is bullied after lights-out by the listing seniors,
its jar of wilting pansies the butt of scorn.
A much missed mum and nan? Don’t
make them lurch. Get real: become obscure.
An ancient resident is so amused he’s face down
on the turf and you can hear the subterranean
echo of guffaws, no sleep allowed in this dormitory.
Better have a witty answer when they taunt:
got any pubic moss yet? Wm. Blott, born
Oct 3rd,1756, died it’s not clear when, affects
a desire to know. So does his wife Mary
or is it Maura. Sissy Sally Evans, d. 2006,
has years to go before she stoops to see the joke.

2 thoughts on “The gravestones are laughing

  1. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    Glad you like it, James. I do, too — a lot.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    james showers

    What wonderful ideas here in this poem. I loved it, and feel cheered at the thoughts therein.


    Charles Cowling

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