I am a gumshoe tailing mortality,
a shammus staking out history,
death’s sleuth. The past has bequeathed itself,
its deceiving legacy of meanings.
Here is the evidence, thronging the cramped,
provincial streets – the line of a wall,
family remembrance, an ancient name.
Before terraces and villas, before
canal and railway, under pavements
and metalled roads, beneath fields is lost heathland,
a forsaken brook. There are only stones
and ghosts and the heart’s testimony – childhood,