The Secret Pages: Epilogue: Morfa Mawddach (Barmouth Junction)

Crossing the Mawddach we leave Ardudwy.
Before Beeching this was a junction;
pick your line: but the bridge to Bala
has been falling since my childhood.
There is no one waiting on the sand.
No one offering a gift or demanding our tickets.
I turn: you, my silent Virgil, have gone,
left on the bridge boundary of the Earthly Paradise:
a departure as sudden as your first.

Our travelling’s been companionably strange,
as in my dream long after you had died.
In busyness I’d missed my garden time
and now was coming home to find neglect:
which would have been, except that you were there
all calm and careful, coaxing bigger blooms
than I had ever managed from the plants.
You had a secret mixture which, you claimed,
had given all the vigour to the buds.
You even had a band of volunteers
to help you with the weeding and the work.
I gave a hand
                         and then snapped back to bed:
alarm then toilet, shower, taxi, train.
Left to wonder what the waking brain
had asked its sleeping colleague to explain.

We’ll make another journey when the land’s
restored and Cantref y Gwaelod flourishing.
We’ll take a hand in building up its walls,
in bringing fruitfulness to field and tree.

This journey’s over, but it does not end.