And suddenly we’re up to our shins;
Sporadic calls from the trees
And ripples on the mirror
Echo our own.
Weeds of the shallows fidget on toes,
Just as they would have done
Centuries gone, here
In the lake of the Wimpole Estate.
Fish rise like bubbles, nudging,
Toying with your fleck of apple offering,
But soon, it too is memory.
And we make for the kissing gate – knowingly.
Deceased: the hoove-thuds that
Fell down and through verges,
Ghostly boots that sauntered in
Hunting horns, stable straw,
Cigar smoke, damp grass,
Kitchens of steam, the incense of chapel,
Journals of dust and embers of a Brideshead grate.
And what of this bench staring
Up at the house?
Has it always sat here, or only since
The National Trust moved in?
In any case, you at least expect
A plaque to remember the
Ghosts, the Barons, the crests, and
Family china. Perhaps
A year of birth and a year of death…
So much the same,
So much forgotten,
So much now only the gift of imaginations.