Wellington Cemetery 1957 – 2021
We each had one, my brother and I.
A small, red, wooden box on wheels, complete with a long, pitted rod of metal that ended in a loop to form the handle
Much easier to pull than push.
The path outside from the house led straight to the huge metal gates, gates that announced the entrance to the cemetery
‘Never take the flowers from the graves, only pine cones and discarded flowers.
We knew never to trespass.
However beautiful the floral tributes were, however much their vibrancy called to us we knew to only look.
Rivers of pine cones littered the avenue floor, we searched out the most perfect then squirrelled them away.
Needles, fallen layer upon layer, cushioned our walk, we made no noise.
We passed the familiar glass domes, protection for the delicate flowers modelled from wax, we passed the angels, our silhouettes casting shadows over their outstretched wings.
Faded names with heartfelt inscriptions were traced by our small fingers.
Discarded flowers, inside the wooden compost, created a floral stratum of texture and colour, a layered glimpse of mourning and celebration, sorrow, loss and hope.
We loosened the heads and lifted them free, gently obliterating our fir cone collections in colourful shrouds of wilted flowers
Before bed we’ll submerge the rose petals into jam jars of water, a present for mummy, given with enthusiasm and received with love. Thank you, that’s my very favourite perfume.
Five more minutes we are told
We filled the watering cans until we wobble when we lift them. From head to toe, on this hot summer’s day, we are drenched in cool water and happiness
And now there are no more five minutes. I visit your grave, kneeling to arrange the flowers.
I smile and thank you