For Margaret Masterman

Frail body, questing eager mind, a discipline of joy,
Expecting to see a banquet spread, here in the land of the living,
A heart’s concern for closest family, for a world in travail,
Strangers and friends embraced in your extravagance of giving.

Warriors of antiquity traditionally fell
Grasping shield and spear, face towards the foe.
You they found fallen, holding a garden hose,
Where, year on year, you watered, weeded, nurtured things to grow.

Yours was a warrior spirit, for peace and justice fierce,
Yet instant in compassion for a human need or loss.
Self-pity in your more-than-stoic heart found little room:
Your remedy for a stony road, to carry another’s cross.