The digger crouches in the middle
of the crumbling buildings.
With precision and even delicacy it knocks down
and loads rubble that had been a workplace
into a truck, which takes it away
to become golf course
And here am I at the fence
with my oldest friend
watching and commentating as
if it was cricket.
We talk of walls, loads and half
understood things our dads told us.
We criticise the digger driver
who's doing it all wrong.
And then it hits me,
like a freight train,
that this could be memory loss
we are watching and talk about.
The deft, telling blows
in just the right places
that the digger lands
to bring the edifice down.
The record of that place now gone.
A flat apron of concrete,
the only marker for a place
where people made ordinary history.
But the metaphor becomes unglued
because memories are organic
twining and twisting around the truth
gathering in stories and pictures
that are not ours, to the self.
Still it is close enough
to give me a chill as I remember my age.
So we leave and walk off quickly,
while the digger carries on.