This is a poem written on New Year’s Eve 2019 by myself. I haven’t written a poem for more than 20 years but today in the garden, clearing away the dead matter of the past year with my hands and mind, I thought about the grave of Ertola, and decided I would write this before the bells. Forgive the roughness, but it is written in a short period and recorded in a single take while the fireworks were setting off in my home town. The original inscription on this otherwise anonymous tomb, from Roman Britain, reads: : “To the spirits of the departed: Sudrenus made this for Ertola, properly named Vellibia. who lived most happily 4 years and 60 days.

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