In The Woods – a poem by Beth Brooke

In The Woods

The wood holds a ruin:
vestigial altar, and a remnant of wall
faith built centuries ago.

Beech trees roof it now and bluebells floor it.
A carved Christ presides, arms outstretched,
invites you to sit in among choirs of birdsong.

I bring the ashes here,

place them on the broken altar stones
and go.

The seasons’ turns will scatter them,
grain by grain, and set him free.

Foxes will nose the gray heap and
badgers spread the remains, and

Christ will hang there, arms 
outstretched, weary, compassionate.

Beth Brooke is a retired teacher, living on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and drawing inspiration from its landscape. She is a Quaker. She has had poems published in a variety of journals and is currently working on her first poetry collection.

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