The old farm with its pink windows is for sale
on the far side of our valley and always magical,
but now close to, I see the casements are rotting, a sad
red, roof and gutters sag like the old iron bedstead,
unlotted, just hauled into the yard.
Inside the ceilings curl down, a nest, not this year’s, in the grate
of the range, in the shippons manure become peat.
Somebody’s garden hints between nettles, brambles, elders,
while in the sale field , laid in rows, the centuries
of family and farm- the milk churns supplanted
by the tanker, a 48 egg incubator (patented),
horse tackle for everything the Victorians invented
seven variously able-bodied tractors,
(the crowd slowly dragging round the auctioneers)
bicycles, a three-legged stool, and a blanket box
lined with the Sheffield Evening News from 1866,
when a house maid and cook, and a French widow lady
all go to a dealer, and he also outbids me
for the pancheon, big enough to bathe a baby,
and scrap metal merchants will get the rest
to be sorted melted and lost.
Was I thinking of the bowl, and how
to start the next batch, a portion of dough
was kept, for I went back later
and found in a skip a mirror
for my kitchen, and a keepsake,
Pilgrim’s Progress, the school, the child, still stuck
inside, to carry home, smelling of mould and mice,
starter for my journey in and through this place.