Wait for it, you’ll hear the old boy really yell!
My dad hurled a stone over our back-yard wall,
chuckling as it hit the shed’s corrugated roof
and we shared the shiver of rust down old Joe’s neck:
old Joe from the back, fat on scrap in the war,
still fat in leaner times, had an aging lorry
that sagged and wobbled down the alley,
gouging walls with great elongated grooves.
Fifty years on, I’m googling in on the map,
seeing an uncompromising patch of green –
the alley, the scrap-yard, the old houses, gone:
all demolished, like the site of a heinous crime –
compelling this need to preserve what I was shown,
if only like rust taking on the corrosion of time.