I struggled through streets of

Bricked-up, boarded-up houses,

Mostly burned-out, keeping

To the middle of the road,

Watching the abandoned gardens

With here and there a house

Still lived in, curtained

Against the daylight and distantly

I saw the iron railings of the school

I’d taught in thirty years before.

The same brick buildings, hop scotch

Squares and rounders posts

And the sign, ‘Welcome to Wyther Park

Primary School’. The wooden prefabs

Where I taught poetry nine till four

Replaced by newer prefabs of I don’t

Know what, hidden in trees with

Thirty years more growth, one playground

Grassed over, with benches and tables

Like a pub garden, yet there was the same

Innocence still, my inner sense declared.

I sat on a stone seat by the bridge

Over the canal, watching the pylons

Stretching away to Kirkstall Forge,

By the steps to the railway where

Once the station stood that took us

Every year to Flamborough Head.

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