The Mythicals – 0: Archie – a memorial
Every day we walk through the woods at the bottom of our lane. On one of the paths in a clearing there is a bench.
a modest bench stands on a path in Ridings Wood
ringed by hornbeams, bedded in ringcups and columbine,
where we stop to rest, listen to the guardian trees.
the words chiselled into the stainless steel plaque
have not been dulled; they are as bright as the child
in whose memory they were etched –
“Archie: 15th October – 11th November”.
the love of those who loved him clear, unveiled,
its pulse feeding every cut of the blade, twist of the grain,
running into the hearts of those who stand, contemplate
the wonder of a life that though short remains
a wonder to those that loved and love
and death, though it has fed deep, could not cloud –
He is still a son, a brother, a bloom signed so precious
He was early called to flower in His Father’s garden,
the aching space He left quickly shaped and filled with that
which marks us human; memories standing monument
against the tide of time and making life a thing of beauty.
we rise touched by the astounding dappled grace of this place
and walk on to complete the circle back to our own.
Another great stroll in the park poem, Bhi. These little memorials are all around us here as well. I believe these monuments help us to connect with each other if we are paying even a little attention.
CW, I passed this bench a number of times and had wanted to write about, but it was only until a week of so ago that the shape of the poem started to take. You are right; these memorials are all around, and they are connections; asking to be noticed and to be made.
I guess everybody has a way of dealing with grief. The loss of a young child must be very hard to come to terms with in this modern age and most likely no less hard in the old times when infant death was not uncommon.
There is a peace we all seek when someone dies, and it is doubly hard when a child dies before their time. All parents wish fervently to see their children grow; the cut can be unbearable.
You have evoked the sadness and beauty of life in death, and death in life; as always a memorable poem. And yes, we have the same on a bench on our village green.
Sorry for the late reply D; email notifications lost in the ether somewhere. this is part of an experimental sequence – The Mythicals – dealing with death and commemoration. thank you for reading. and comments always appreciated.