RS at Easter II
The second in the series of RS Thomas poems over Easter is ‘Aftermath’. Thomas often alights on the image of ‘the machine’ as a malevolent description for a fallen world denuded of compassion. Here, at Easter, an innocent – the child – delivers the goodnews that even the machine (a car wreck?) is redeemed.
Easter. The grave clothes of winter
are still here, but the sepulchre
is empty. A messenger
from the tomb tells us how a stone has been rolled
from the mind and a tree lightens
the darkness with its blossom.
There are travellers on the roads
who have heard music blown
from a bare bough and a child
tells us how the accident
of last year, a machine stranded
beside the way for lack of
petrol, is covered with flowers.
R. S. Thomas, 1997.
Taken from “6 poems (1997)”, a signed limited edition produced for the Stratford upon Avon poetry festival. (With thanks to Ian James)