by Brian Clark


They dug up the dead
and knocked the church down.
We’d sung our last hymn on Sunday
filled to overflowing, in candlelight:
Now the day is over
night is growing nigh

everywhere flattened
and that was the end of West End.
They re-buried the already dead
in a forlorn field of gravestones
high up on Thruscross ridge
to mark a village that died
before its time, sacrificed
to satisfy the cities’ thirsts.

But they left the humpback bridge
where I used to watch brown trout
and from the fence that blocked the road
I saw the River Washburn rise
filled to overflowing.


    Thruscross reservoir
    drained by unforeseen dry seasons
    reveals its drowned, knocked-down history.

    The bridge rose again
    and I crossed it.