Mill Hill

by Sue Oxley

When I was a child
They took us to Mill Hill
Where we ran on the graves,
Shivering at the stones,
And at thoughts of the horror
In the bones that lay beneath.

A tap stood alone beside a path
Where we filled up watering cans,
Then pushed in flowers,
Always chrysanthemums,
Through rusted holes in the
Silvered containers.

I couldn’t see my nan in there
Below the faded lettering of the grave.
I couldn’t imagine it,
For me she was in Australia
The place of the disappeared -

The underneath place
The upside down place
Where  blood rushes to your head
And brings you back to life.

And that’s why I can’t go to Australia,
The land of death,
Just in case I can’t find her,
Or the others that for fifty years have followed her there,
Travelling alone
One by one.

I might have to leave behind that idea,
And think the impossible,
That they might just be
In Mill Hill after all.

©Sue Oxley