There is an old quarry down the way
we walk to it most days
it is now filled to the brim with wild garlic
ash and beech
It is older than our house
I asked the kids if they could imagine
what it would have been like
an eight and eleven year old
being shouted at
sweat and blood
the rock face is bare
all around us is overburden
not wanted and worthless
piles and piles of orphaned planet
One child stood and sucked her thumb
the other said
Can you feel the memories?
I can feel the people
and also the trees. It’s not so
bad here, mum
They must have known that
the trees and the wild garlic would grow one day?
did they know?
Did the backache and the tears and the
sweat and pain
pass like wisps of wind
through branches yet to grow
across the faces of the children
so that my house could be built?
Their descendents we probably know