My story is lost in time’s fog.
No gravestone have I, to grow moss,
in the unhallowed ground of this swamp.
Eternally silent, time is a drip
of vinegar, pickling through layers of peat
to my dark airless tomb. The chill
of this valley’s not nearly as chill
as the church’s hypocrisy. Fuming a fog
of censure, they buried me here in the peat,
away from the churchyard, its crosses, the moss
on stones and oak. The diamonds that drip
from the railings when frost has covered the swamp
at sunrise, run down the hill to my swamp
bringing traces of corpses to wash me, a chill
rejoining of family. I feel them drip
to settle around me, hidden in fog,
holding me prisoner under the moss,
in death as in life. While harvesting peat
a peasant uncovered me, rolled back the peat.
He thought I was sleeping, there in the swamp
on mattress of peat, with blankets of moss,
and he pitied the lady asleep in such chill.
He wrapped me in wool, to stay warm in the fog,
and laid me back down. I saw moisture drip
from his face, but the mist here makes everything drip
and he may not have cried for me, sleeping in peat,
for I’d taken my own life. Locked in a fog
of lies and perversion, a bestial swamp
that my husband controlled, I prayed in the chill
of confession for help. I may as well ask moss
as it clings to the steeple. No parson, that moss,
but more honest. His threats, like acid, still drip
through my soul. I burned. Death’s final chill
released me from fires much hotter than peat
but my soul’s stuck here in this freezing swamp.
For centuries now I’ve called out through the fog:
Moss makes my blanket, my mattress is peat,
my tears drip into the swamp
where I sleep, in the chill, in the fog.