and once, they say, there was a chill farm here:
ice and smoke-breath and shivers
ramshackling round a pond
with a loneliness
that kept london at bay

and once there was an accidental man,
a man who found his friend and his futures
stolen by the german bomb
which crept down the chimney
like a malevolent santa claus,

sweating red intruder mocking
the kitchen table where the boy and his mother hid,
saw them trembling under there
and offered them presents
in exchange for their innocence

and once, in this well-named place,
there was a girl who dreamed of magic,
who spun words to escape the ancient frosts of poverty
and stolen spirit,
who weaved poetry from grim fact

and once, yes, I loved them both in my way,
my stumbling way, outwitted
like the blind man suddenly sighted,
like a past bright-lit by myth,
like a frozen pond that soon melts to nothing