Outside, beyond the pale features,
amongst the friendless and alone,
the goodly physic administered balm.
The cold, north wind had breathed its chill comment
on all buried in holes of pity and contempt.
He decided that the uneven gravity
of their cold-shouldered curtaining lived beyond life.
So, he tethered his concern amongst the lost
and nestled with them in their mists and misery.
He accepted that the fate of criminals,
of suicides, of the non-baptized may offend
the well-tended of those placed in the certainty
of east or south, where comfort lay easily.
But his oath was to take him further away
than correct placement. So, he rested his head
on a hard, unforgiving stone in the wrong place:
a place dour and despised, tucked away amongst
averted cries and the sighs of empty days.
He made his rest where crooked shadows
stole about too long, where crows pecked too deeply,
and where little bundles tumbled too far.
The passing years may erode many
a fine statue, but the goodly physic’s
graveside manner of comfort lives on:
a lay doctrine that bears witness to mongrels
and sees in them the pedigree of being.
hysic: for Dr John Fawsett