Tag Archives brass plaque

WITHOUT END

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Now old enough at seven to sleep

in a little tent with her cousins

in the garden on a July night, she was

abducted, stifled, man-handled down

the shallow hill to the pebble beach

below the paddling pool, abused, murdered.

 

Next to the shelter by the pool, the council built

a playground with climbing frame and slide,

removed part of the shelter to house

a memorial her parents commissioned –

an open metal box, almost an altar,

with a brass plaque, and low enough for even

the smallest child to place flowers or a toy.

 

The robust play equipment has survived.

The subtle memorial was vandalised,

so often, it was removed – leaving

only rust stains on the tiles. The plaque

was placed on the shelter’s seaward wall.

 

The plaque is a little tarnished, lettering

no longer pristine. Neglect – or design?

I would imagine at dawn on a clear day

its glinting in the sun and a chance

mariner wondering at such a light

on the shoreline of a seaside resort.

Yet better, perhaps, it’s weathered – forever,

for always, baffling the stinging spray

of winter’s highest tides or catching

moonlit, calm, summer seas.

 

 

 

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