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Poem-a-day-for-four-days - 4

Elaine Walker

Tumulus An unobtrusive mound, just off a road too small to

number, surrounded by rowan trees – ah, druids – symbolism – ritual – but they

weren't there twenty years ago so a deep ancestral meaning

seems unlikely.

From time to time earnest types with round

spectacles and backpacks drive up to stand by the gate - nodding - then

duck back inside their cars out of the hanging cloak of damp

mist, pausing only to wind down water-speckled windows and ask if there's a

pub nearby.

I look at the tumulus and see a bump in a field – maybe

beneath its neat hummock, instead of bones and slabs of

slate, there are old engines and worn out tractors like there are in the cleft of

the valley below, where the rushing water has washed away the earth used

to cover their passing.

But walking home under a blood moon, I watch the

dark shape on the skyline and remember how the old lady at

Dolau claimed to see, on nights like this, long-haired

warriors dancing, casting shadows around its

echoing silhouette.