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Following the Grain


The speckled path traces a line

on which patina time will mark.


A clock that chimed important hours,

observing prayers and reading page;

from clammy palms timidly stretched

for reading creases, forward years.


A pared wood cup sweat globule-dripped,

then swirled with mead drained servant poured;

silver, planished, the hand-made sign,

left marks from hall, and sterling wine.


Apprentice piece, held journeyman,

a proof of travel with the joints;

two drawers matched stored marriage wraps,

their waist-let prompting wedding banns.


A cradle rocked white knuckled hands

to dampen cries of father, child;

a beam above smoke inglenook,

hot conversations with less light.


The treasure chest of daughter’s curl,

unlocked, but key of memory;

a truckle bed rolled out of site

that caked boots trod mud, bakers punched.


A varnish of flight pheromones,

more tears, some blood, flaked skin, hut dust,

capped steam from pots, seepage from pores;

ingrained, embedded, history sealed.

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2 Comments


Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Jan 16

Beautifully written stephen, and what a concept!every detail I know has been thought about, even down to the final word 'sealed'. Thank you

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Unknown member
Jan 15

A lovely journey through time encased in wood. Slightly magical

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