Highgate Cemetery

David Olsen

Adherents are advised

to take the left path to find

the memorial to Marx,

where flowers and candles

daily reproduce themselves

beneath his glowering brow,

and ideas survive the man.

 

Nearby, standing stones,

crosses and angels erode

in English rain, exfoliate

from freeze and thaw,

their shoulders slumping

from the weight of silence,

exertion of remembering.

 

Elsewhere, a neglected stone

tilts as the patient movement

of earth undercuts the intended

sense of permanence. Tendrils

of ivy thicken year by year,

embracing the stone inscribed:

In Loving Memory of [illegible]