Syd Bowen

More chapel than public house
though still village property,
one they'd call their own.

There were less and less like him,
dark-suited old boys
who took on the hedges by hand -

Griff Price, Vernon Probert,
Tommy Farmer - squeezed out
by the press of generations.

I name trees after them.
Their summers hung about us
in our sense of not belonging.

Syd Bowen's here I think,
though last I saw of the man
he grew towards me, smiled,

passed the time of year,
shrank again, was gone.
Into the privacy of lanes.