The prisoners were dispersed across the north,
being too numerous for one assize –
many had followers, women and children:
a lost cause’s collateral damage.
An unrecorded number – of both rebels
and dependents – was held on the heath
a quarter of a mile due west of here
where I am researching and typing.
They wintered among the gorse and the heather.
Maybe there were tents, or perhaps bivouacs,
certainly for the guards. There was fresh water
from two meres – since filled in, and built on.
Some will have died in the snow and the rain
awaiting trial. Others, in the long nights,
will have absconded, desperate for the Spring,
and to see their own heathlands flower.