On the way back, we called in to the village of Week St Mary, just over the Tamar into North Cornwall, to visit my parents' grave in the churchyard there. The gravestone with their names
engraved on it had been put in place since the last time I'd been there, after the memorial service last year. I wrote this poem about going back to the village as the last piece I produced on the Arvon course.
Crows fly up from the hedge-top,
A horse stands calm at a stile.
We round the last steep corner
To drive the final mile.
The ghosts of village children
Hide behind the dry-stone wall;
The school house on the corner
Is a pale memorial.
Here are the new build houses
Smug in tight-clipped lawns,
Where lowing cows and tractors
Met on market days at dawn.
Down to the rabbit-eared church
To the graveyard and the stone
And the empty house that echoes
To a past that's dead and gone.
© Janice Windle