Day 39: Quarry ghosts

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

and ghosts






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

shovelling rock

being shouted at

sweat and blood








the rock face is bare

all around us is overburden

discarded Earth

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?






I wonder:

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?






Our gratitude

spans lifetimes;

Their descendents we probably know

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