Sunday, 28 November 2010

Once There Was

Five years ago; a deciduous bus stop post
stood at the corner of New Road,
with bare twig-like branches poking above,
reaching both up and down, over my head.

Now when walking I have to duck beneath
the mini canopy; we’ve grown, the bus stop post
evergreen, hidden in bush, but I’m still waiting.
How much have I spent on fares?

I’m still here, as is the village hall opposite,
its fading letters arcing over the entrance,
having seen fresher times when I and others
played within every Tuesday night.

No more. It looks lifeless, with the lines outside
on the car park faded almost completely,
the metal bins lidless and empty, crawled over
by veins of nature’s capillaries sucking back

what was taken from her by brick and mortar.
I stand by the road, breathing the heavy gases,
as an ex-mate drives by in his car. We used to catch
the bus together for school. He disappears over the crest.

If only we were still mates, I could get a lift.
We’d see five years ago the empty green fields,
along the 292 path, and the corner house still standing,
the goalposts in the field still up, even if cobwebbed

with a moth caught in its hexagonal framework.
Five years later the bus appears around the bend,
my hand finds the change in my pocket,
the price to travel down memory lane, renamed

Melancholy Road. The bus pulls up and I ascend.
We pass the village shop that’s now a ‘Londis’,
the field domed with huge propagation chambers,
inside those green things that need help to grow.

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