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Tom Grix is Dead

by Michael Mackmin

Tom Grix is dead and his meadow sold, the man who
so soft spoken that the parish meetings strained to hear,
walked, as he said he realised, the whole village length
with a woman ghost.

All day my brow has ached with unshed tears,
I shed them now.
I saw our house, the russet apple tree is tall at last,
the fruit thick on it, as yet unpicked.

Oh and as I drove towards Oxnead bridge,
the sun broke silver
astonished as if the fields were full of angels
swans and horses, warriors, another
northern winter coming on.

I called to say a new thing, something, I forgot what,
your house is empty. Tom Grix is dead
you know, I guess you know.
I have been away, changing my skin again.

We were married, you and I were married, well
that was thirty years ago; odd, I grieve now:
I am learning grief.
I saw a flock of larks and
there were plovers standing in the green corn.

It was a woman ghost he saw.
He said he spoke to her and she said nothing but
they walked on and then he realised
and she was gone.

(This poem appears by kind permission of the author and Happenstance Press.)

Norfolk Poems




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