Smithills by Dorothy Snelson

Journeying Through Time
I come here often now
 to connect to the past.
 Progress doesn’t make us so different
to  those who lived here in centuries past.
They too lived , loved, laughed and got sick.
Plagues and pestilence then;
pandemics now.
Smithills Hall stands empty and neglected.
The Tudor box garden , where once they grew
 herbs to overcome disease, sadly overgrown.
We have  ventilators and vaccines.
The tiny paned windows blink in the sun, telling me
 the occupants  too suffered misfortunes over the years.
The great studded doors are closed to visitors and
 picnic tables bear no afternoon teas;
everywhere shuttered and still.
The great trees, sway in the breeze
and I see glimpses of the folk who went before.
Lords, ladies, cooks, maids, grooms
 and children who , laugh and play in the gardens.
Little Bess’s tombstone, is overgrown now.
Perhaps she was the treasured pet of some Victorian child.
Dogs bark , horses whinny ; 
I see  a panoply of life through the ages .
Visitors will return once this crisis is over , but for now,
I’m alone, on my journey through time.