On the third anniversary of the building site
on St John Street
For years we ignored the dull
1950s office block. For years
its misplaced architecture lay empty
and then we pulled it down.
And honestly, on that day
the town’s heart lightened.
We planted our hopes
in the levelled ground
and raised plywood boards,
painted red like theatre curtains,
to hold them safe.
Then we waited.
We waited as cars edged past
queueing in the weary morning.
We waited while pedestrians
weighed down with bags-for-life
stopped and peered through gaps;
while graffiti made cryptic claims
and was painted over;
while rain soaked the ground to mud
and the sun dried it to dust,
and while beneath it all
the Spadesbourne Brook ran on,
hidden in its concrete pipe.
We waited until the waiting faded.
And in the not waiting that followed
the plywood screen, painted red
like theatre curtains, became
just itself, a thing, a part of town,
not so much holding
as replacing hope.
Ian lives in Worcestershire where he works as a programmer while studying for an MA in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University. Ian’s first pamphlet ‘About Leaving’ will be published by V. Press later this year.