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This poem is taken from PN Review 204, Volume 38 Number 4, March - April 2012.

Testators Fleur Adcock
Anthony Cave, 1558

One monument to her dear Anthony
was not enough. Even his will allowed for
two: 'no sumptuous pomp', he said, but
a stone 'of no great value' in the north aisle

and 'a picture of death upon the wall'.
It hovers above him, engraved in brass,
a skeleton trussed in a transparent shroud
like a polythene bag: 'So shall you be'.

Elizabeth, who would have cradled his bones,
saw all done; and then, as she must,
married twice more - Chicheley was a prize.
Eighteen years later, widowed a third time,

her four daughters dowried and settled,
and the future of the house secure,
she was Anthony's again; and yielded
to a degree of sumptuous pomp.
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