This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Elspeth McLean Two Poems
Our Fathers
Llangelynnin, Conwy

This path was hacked out in stern times
by forebears with heavy loads and often heavy hearts.
I toil through oak and ash and birch to
the hill’s shoulder, the six foot drystone walls
the healing well, and St Celynnin’s Church.

It’s a place of rules. By the squint window
in the porch, I read the copperplate sign:
Visitors are requested not to scribble anywhere.
Behind the altar are Fear God and Honour Thy King,
and Ten Commandments in old red paint.

Among the dusty benches of Capel Meibion,
the Men’s Chapel, there’s a harmonium,
lid up, pedals tilted, inviting me to play.
My hands stop in my coat pockets, curbed by
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