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.
golden brown mosaic underfoot.
Pink and white, tall balsam
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.