To Rest

Nothing remains of your bed;
The timber has rotted
And its nails are a taste
Of blood in the mouth.

The tissue of your purse
Has spilled the beads
That held (like dew)
Your many worlds.

The cross forged from gold
Coins from Constantinople,
Inlaid with Indian garnets
Juicy as pomegranate

After a millennium of dark,
Nestles in your heart.
Grey with use,  your
Daily knife falls to hand.

Your family took care
To leave these things
For you in the dirt,
Though it did no good.

There is nothing
Like the death of a child
To undeceive a mother.
She sees clearly

The old gods are dead
And the new one
More distant than the stars;
Even the gods to come

With all their tenderness
Cannot resurrect
The smiling girl for whom
She hoped so much.

This poem is based upon a 7th century bed burial discovered near Cambridge and was commended in the Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition 2012.

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