oh grey cat of Tickencote
are you the guardian of the church
or a volunteer guide?
You watch us as we park the car
and as we lift the latch
We walk among the gravestones
looking at the carved window arches
and the inscriptions to the dead
the moss-covered ancient mound,
the solid stone statement tombs
and there you are, rubbing against my leg.
A bench for contemplation
faces the old hall's lake
and you leap up, then lightly to a table tomb
the sunlight catching the way your fur
to admire the chancel arch
and grotesques in ceiling corners
you follow and show us the old cast bell
replaced some eighty years ago.
You stroll along the tiny nave
into the chancel - we'll not miss much.
As we leave we make sure you are outside
our farewell photograph sees you seated on the wall