The Manchester Review
Peter Sansom
Four Poems
Poetry
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Shalesmoor, Sheffield

Turning off eventually out of a jam,
I park up down the side street of another country –
Furnace Hill and Foundry Court, and Snow Lane in August,
all of it derelict to the point of grass on roofs
and rosebay willowherb gawping from what’s left
of windows on this unguided walk. I look twice
at two girls with pints and a dog in front of no pub –
only Cook’s (Bearings) Ltd (To Let) – and walk through
their back and forth ‘He never was’ ‘he was’ ‘he never,’
so oblivious they might be ghosts, or I might.
The shell of The Princess Works of Stavely Brass Co
dwarfs the prefab of Newland UPVC; then,
cresting Scotland Street, I come out at West Bar’s
state of the art cranes, hi-rise closing in
like combines flushing out the last wildlife
and razing the rare botany of die-cast and smeltings
down the pig-iron valley of yesteryear. I turn.
Yanks once touted the world’s thinnest filament
to a firm round here, only to get it back
bored along its length. I like remembering that.
For answer, a carrier bag tumbleweeds past, startling me
and the girls and their dog no longer there.


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