Pointless Connections 2016
A follow-up to ‘Disused Quarry 1956’
If smooth Alexander asked her, in his well-oiled way,
how she’d spend the money, if she won,
she’d say New York, New York.
Everyone did, didn’t they?
She’d seen the men posing on the beam,
dreamt of doing the Empire State Building,
another must-have holiday
to pack away with all the others,
plus a time-cheating selfie taken
at the base of that huge erection,
its Keuper sandstone cladding
quarried in the Wirral, England.
Post-war the formerly Roman
now disused White Freestone Quarry
had a don’t-go-near pond at the bottom
where, as a small boy, I emptied
my adolescent tadpoles
out of a fifties sweet jar
and watched them wriggle away
to enjoy being frogs in my poem
half a century later
before the quarry was filled in,
archiving privileged knowledge
under excavated rubble
from the second Mersey tunnel.
Back from New York,
she’d show off her selfie
and enhance her life by assuming her friends
would think she was the most important item
in the photo, it never occurring to her
that her friends might just notice the cladding
behind her, though, at the same time,
or any other time, not realising,
like millions of New Yorkers and millions of visitors
since the building of that building,
that they would be missing out
on each stone’s silly story of privileged knowledge.
But she’d have to win Pointless first.