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The old people said… 

 

illness runs in families.

They knew who was likely

to have heart or lung disease,

who might yet be afflicted.

 

The old people said…

when someone had an operation

things often became worse,

as if the body being opened

the cure became the problem.

 

The old people said…

the time would come

when you wouldn’t

know the seasons

but by the leaves on the trees.

 

The old people said

these things and more

and I didn’t believe them, because I was young

and I didn’t believe them, because they were old,

but now they are gone and I am older,

now I understand what the old people meant

when they said illness runs in families,

when they said the cure by times becomes the problem,

when they said the seasons would only be known

by leaves on the trees.

 

Now I know the wisdom

in their words when

the old people said…

 Tintern woods20171