Leave Taking

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Solid stone steps lead down to fields and flower beds,
Before this ancient house, a green lawn spreads.
But turn your head, look back towards the door
An anguished couple stand, as sun drops lower.

And what of the lad who’s saying good-bye?
His gaze looking past Shepherds Crag,
Is he riding away with a sword at his side?
Or wearing a khaki cap?
Is he trying to smile, and promise his mum
That one day, very soon, he’ll be back.

Can he see how the bees make the petals expand?
Hear the fountain that plays in the pond?
Will he care if the trees are cut down when he’s gone?
Does he feel any sort of a bond?

The house must have known many similar scenes
It’s stood on this brink for so long.
But the strength of the love when your boy takes the place
Of failed politicians, in war,
Is something beyond what we know of as love,
It’s not better than love,
It’s just more.

Lorraine Mackay