by Alex Carr-Malcolm
The birds ceased to sing
from the day we were condemned.
Our underpinning corroded,
pulling the floor from under us,
everything subsided, along with our dreams.
The floors had started to slope,
and the cracks no longer hidden.
My beautiful childhood home —
Twenty-two rooms, orchards, greens, woods,
and a church at the bottom of the garden.
I kissed the cross, and all four walls,
before my dreams were demolished.
Re-housed in a flat-line estate
council regulation green and avocado,
five rooms and no soul,
the transistor, tinny tune,
Where’s your Mama gone?
echoing in my heart.
PHOTO: Hazlehurst, Hasland, Derbyshire — The author’s childhood home.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My mother was a caretaker of a beautiful Georgian house — once a vicarage. It was a day centre for ex-miners who had been disabled at work; it was also offices for the Coalite Company (Ciswo)…
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