The Love that Binds

The Love that Binds

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

My father died of the cholera

In eighteen thirty-two,

There wasn’t a place at the cemetery

To bury him, that we knew,

The signs were posted at Netherton,

‘Don’t bring your bodies here!’

The Sexton spoke: ‘Try Gospel Oak,

Or maybe, Wednesbury.’

 

We loaded Pa back onto the cart

And whipped the old grey mare,

We’d not long buried our cousin Jack

At the turning of the year,

From Manchester to Birmingham

The epidemic spread,

From Liverpool to Leeds, to York,

With one in twenty dead!

 

I walked along with the horse and cart

And I passed so many more,

They thrust their relatives out, feet first

In front of the tradesman’s door,

The fear had spread so rapidly

No family was safe,

So Grandma went in her winding sheet

Outside, with her Sister Kate!

 

They loaded bodies onto a cart

No dignity in death,

And piled them three and four feet high

As they took their final breath,

And pits were dug as the space grew less

The Churchyards all were full,

For years, the gardeners turned them up

Old bones, and a grinning skull!

 

We took our Pa on home at last

With nowhere else to go,

And sat him out in the potting shed

Where the seedlings used to grow,

Then Ma sat down beside him there

And died of a broken heart,

We knew it would be a waste of time

To break out the horse and cart.

 

For years they sat untouched out there

Through spring and the summertime,

I looked one day, they were overgrown

With a creeper, like a vine,

The vine had woven in and around

Through bones that were falling apart,

It tied and bound them together,

Wrapping a tendril round each heart.

 

‘When things calm down, we’ll bury them,’

I said to my brother, Sid,

As time went on, we both forgot

And I guess we never did;

They’re closer now than they were in life

She doesn’t scold or moan,

While he clings fast to his silent wife,

And at least, they’re both at home!

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

Paget,I could not have imagined that such tragic and painful incident might take place in England.I knew about black death caused by plague.

I thought how it was possible to keep the bodies in the plant nursery for long period.Were they preserved in coffin?Could you give some more details?

I wonder how you could bear such painful memories for so long time.
Did you write this poem recently?
I don't dare to deliberate about the poetic quality of your poems.
They are always superb and epic in standard.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Zainul


Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

You paint a picture that is a compliment to death. It is odd that love and death live so close together. A profound truth is buried in this shallow grave of ink.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Poignantly macabre :)

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is one of your most remarkable narratives, David and it touches heart strings quite strongly because of its story theme, a love that transcends time and space. I like the gripping situation where the story unfolds and how you managed to excellently convey the many feelings of conflict and struggles, and recollections of human flaws in them, while maintaining a tender and affectionate tone. The last lines did speak of a wonderful union beyond the grave, completing the full and perfect meaning of the title. I rate this Perfect and I'm sharing it on my facebook, with proper credits to you dear David.

Posted 0 Seconds Ago

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Excellent write! What a story, cholera was truly such a dreaded disease, contageous even post mortem. And how this story evolves into a love story of sorts. I really enjoy your work!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Mic
Love a story woven in verse. Most hard to keep one paced with short line and stanza, but you've done quite well. Creative plot and love the rhyme. Chuckled at the irony in the last stanza.

Well done, Mr. Paget.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

OMG David, what a hoot! lol....a visionary masterpiece! My imagination was working overtime, but it didn't have to really because you described this unique and brilliant write so hilariously. Love, love your writing my friend!

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

WOW! Gripping...compelling...beautifully crafted! I loved it, what a story and what a smooth flow. Excellent my friend.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

wow... such a sad piece, but beautifully written.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

'...Then Ma sat down beside him there
And died of a broken heart,...'

'...It tied and bound them together,
Wrapping a tendril round each heart....'

'...They’re closer now than they were in life
She doesn’t scold or moan,
While he clings fast to his silent wife,
And at least, they’re both at home!'

It is always a joy to read one of your masterpieces- I never know where each beginning will lead one to.....~ pat


Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 30, 2012
Last Updated on August 30, 2012
Tags: cemetery, cholera, vine, dignity

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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