Cottages in the Myddle

Inspired by a trip to Myddle, home to my paternal ancestors. Composed, accompanied by a pot of tea, in a Prado Lounge Café Bar.

‘Cottages in Myddle’, photographed by Jay Cool

Neglected cottages.
A terrace of three,
hidden from road’s view
by guarded bushes.
Avoiding camera’s view.

My mind travels in
between brickwork
cracked and sliding –
seeing within, its own view.

A broken hearth with

rusty pot intact,
still waiting to
share its brew

of ice-cold darkness,
of spade and broom,
of props for a splintered
table – legs for a
family strewn.

Three boys, three girls,
and an infant’s cries –
just three years lived
‘fore the life ran dry.
A young child buried
by sandstone wall.
Brick upon brick
raised up by a
father’s toil.

My grandfather, great,
a stonemason’s son.
Seven born and one, now gone,
refreshes solace with
rusty brew.

A wife’s face falls –
her pain too much
to carry on
through; her thoughts drift out to be stroked away,
swiped,
as a young hand, not
yet four,
beckons.

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged,
as one by one, three
sons take leave.

Three girls left, all
keen to follow, all keen to step
inside and beyond the prints of brothers.

A young lad  winks,
taking his girl away.

Not yet middle-aged,
a father tends his garden.

Sweet voice, a song, calls
him in: A rusty brew?
    The last I can offer
    ‘fore joining my beau.
    A transport man – I’m
    keen to travel,
says she.

He tends his garden –
one more to go.
She loves her father –
perhaps, she’ll stay?

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged.
But old, tired, lonely and
indifferent
to a blood-red radish.

    I’m moving out –
    just up the hill.
The house he owns –
    no rent to pay!
    Come father, come!
    Come live with us!

He tends his garden,
not yet middle-aged.
A strong hand pulls
him, takes the
strain.

    Come.

He still sits there
by the rusty pot.
Old bones cracked,
burnt, fragile.

Alone.

    Come.

My thoughts drift on      out.

Holding camera high,
I take a shot,
and snap them.

Copyright owned by Jay Cool, September 2018

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