and next door s marketplace opens

out into the road the space between cars

ariot with porcelain dolls & mantel ornaments

      our walk impeded by second hand sofas

& paint covered kitchen chairs

      so we climb the back wall to get a better look

and thread our fingers each through

the other s our digits indistinguishable

in the time it takes to drop to the yard below

 our boots stuck with sleech & snapped twigs

from the river buried long ago

      you note the colour     moving as we do

through bracken to pull boards

from the back entrance of the walls

 which in this light appear bright sky blue

 and all the window & door spaces

like doors into an elsewhere

      i feel the unwelcome brush of cobwebs

 the breath of accumulated moulds & lichen

 the consecrated damp of the unliving

and illuminated by this thin shaft of light

we step across the threshold into a dark

where once you sat copying times tables

into an exercise book wrapped in wallpaper

      i try to imagine this child you were

 but can only reach that dark unknown

between your narrative & mine

 through which past is caught and *then*

becomes now and abruptly the house

emerges as a picture on a slide

 your *home sweet home* nailed

solid above the front door sun shining

freely through unmolested windows

      i turn again to look at your face

but only see myself unrecognised in the eyes

of a child trying to remember why she left