Is it waiting
The echo at first
In the bricks of a building
That stayed since I lived here -
The street name
In faded gilt letters
Victorian splendour -
But the buses are new
And the arts centre café's a must-have-been-refurb'd
And the films at the cinema
The same ones aren't on again (no, there's no retro this month)...
So the echos are quiet and the feelings are too far to feel -
Manchester Piccadilly ...
There's no need, no time, to go back to where I worked
Where I slept
Where I drank
Where I spent eighteen months -
Or to the band in the Free Trade Hall
Fresh from Zimbabwe
The gig-goers dancing -
Since then half the band's died of AIDS I heard -
And the Hall's now the smart hotel where I just stayed.
The feelings from back then can stay in the past,
Or hollowed for better developments:
They can sleep.
I'd rather be now,
Even if streets both the old and the new build are part of me.
Let the past be,
The rest grow for all of us
Peopled by those who remember the names
And by those barely born when the memories were made.
The echo a street in the semi-dark
And somewhere a feeling
From then -
But it's not for today.
Only names, and the names
Are beyond days:
Today, they are only themselves.
[Copyright Jon Andrews 2011)