Old derelict house on Dartmoor

When three became two

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It was a simple country house; a peaceful, secluded home
A family nest of brick and stone.

The age for this domicile I’m sure was high
For it was around to see horse and cart drive by.

Centuries had passed with the tick-tock of life
Without a moment of noteworthy strife.

But this house had a secret, of that I am sure
Stick with me, dear reader, and I shall tell you more.

This home had a ghost that watched the children at play
I know this to be true because I remember the day.

Myself and two girls is what I remember
On a bright hot day in mid September.

The beautiful garden was our world for the day
A realm of wonder with no reason to stray.

We three played by an old rope swing
Smiling and happy for the fun it did bring.

At some point, and unnoticed, a picture was taken
When I think back now, I am somewhat shaken.

This was a time before instant gratification
Photography took days before a need for explanation.

But in time the pictures did come
At which point my young mind did the sum.

There should be three? You must be mistaken
For two is all that the camera has taken.

The child’s ruminations are no more than innocent fun
A thought of anything else would cause a shudder to come.

My memory has become vague to that peculiarity
And reminiscing will procure no further clarity.

The years have rolled by since that odd to-do
When three little children became two.

♦ ◊ ♦

Poem was inspired by real events

Unfortunately, I am not in possession of the photograph in question (the picture above is one I took of an old derelict house on Dartmoor), nor am I in contact with the family involved. And, as it was just an unremarkable picture of two young children playing by an old rope swing, it would bring no validity to the claims of the poem. I do remember, however, that it was a wide shot, so the other girl should have been in the photo with us. The old house described in this poem was the one I mentioned in a previous post (Love Lane and the Blood Glacier). There were a number of odd and somewhat spooky things that I can recollect happening there, of which I may write about in a future post. But it was a long, long time ago, so maybe my memory is just playing tricks on me.

Hold-fast if you’re poised to write a crushing critique of my attempt at poetry, I know it’s not of Wordsworth calibre. But it was fun to write.

Update:
I have made a video version of this poem.


The above photograph was taken here.

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