Don't lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall,
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold,
Little seeds investigate, and tender leaves unfold,
There, kindly and affectionately plant a native tree,
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful from closure and decay,
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I'll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.
'Woodland Burial' read by the author from Pam Ayres The Broken Woman (Hodder Audiobooks, 2008), original text copyright © Pam Ayres 2006, from Surgically Enhanced (Hodder & Stoughton, 2006), used by permission of the author