Echoes and Memory



Today in town

I catch glimpses of the past

Turning the corner, just for a moment

I see an earlier half-forgotten me


In the back streets

Down the ginnels

Up King Street

Cutting past the old post office

Round the back of what was Lewis’s

My little girl-self clutches my father’s hand

And scurries to keep up

As he avoids Market St

Dodging and weaving

I follow his polished brown lace-up shoes.


Later, standing in line at St Ann’s waiting for the jazz

Out of the corner of my eye

I see us buying flowers on Christmas Eve

For my mother, yellow roses

Whilst across the square,

My mother, sister and I

Head for Barries in late August

To buy school uniforms

Yellow blouses and bottle green coats

And in December turning into the square comes

A crocodile of girls

Two by two

In those same green coats

Headed for the church and lessons and carols

Whilst behind me in the shoe shop

I spend my first wages

On the most ridiculous, gorgeous soft pink tassled boots

And round the corner in the coffee shop

Upstairs I meet my teenage son buying books

Or down Deansgate

I walk with his younger self to the model shop

And in the middle of the square I stand with my friend in silence

Listening for the music from the trees.


Memories populate each place

Like filters that slide across

Layer upon layer

Happy, sad, commonplace

Adding depth and richness to each place

Echoes of our past

Making this place ours.







Green above

golden brown mosaic underfoot.

Pink and white, tall balsam

is everywhere.

It is warm, moist, mossy

down by the lake.

I remember my last woodland walk

and suddenly you are there.

Out of the wood

the lake is speckled  with falling rain

but here it is sheltered.





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