Sandstone Headstone

(Kingston-on-Murray)

The Ns in Kennet’s flaking name
are back to front like those you find
in Russia or a mirror. Though
the grit of whistling years has rasped
and flecked the text’s eroding lines,
their Slavic slant can still be traced
across his stone’s abraded face
and through his fretting epitaph.

I like to think the scribe who carved
out Kennet’s errant Ns had known
him better than his letters. Now

I know the wind and scouring sand
will lift their histories from that stone,
but rather wish that I had shared
their niche in time where no-one cared
which way the lines on letters ran.

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