Keystone Church


Your grandfather’s name is here
on these dusty plaques,
like jacquard plates, programming
your patch of the pattern,
the knit of genes.

No escaping this
despite the years you kept
that safe space between.

Your brother Joe
killed in the Great War
clings to this wall
in pale brass travesty
of a shining boy;
aunt Wilhelmina too
chattering in the candlelight
long after the last
guest has gone.

No corner here for you.
Your ashes blow down
heathered hills and dales:
but the link was strong.
No dumb plaque
in the shadows
dares to say
you shot yourself …
just as your father did.


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