‘Heritage’ by John FitzGerald from his debut collection The Time Being is our Poem of the Month for June 2021.
The Time Being is due for publication on 24 June 2021.
The slate that lay on the lawn all winter
sank slowly under clover, silverweed,
plantain, the wet grass fringing it unevenly.
I hoped no one would step there
to relish the dull flat snap
and its collapse into two or three spalls,
no longer clean slate
but resigned for reuse on the path
far from the snug slot it once
slid to, fixed to the rafters of the loft
now gone, like the men who built and kept it
stocked, the oats they spilled from the hefted
sacks, the invisible grain-rustling rats, the mill
that winnowed my life into this existence.