by Alex Carr-Malcolm
The birds ceased to sing
from the day we were condemned.
Our underpinning corroded,
pulling the floor from under us,
everything subsided, along with our dreams.
The floors had started to slope,
and the cracks no longer hidden.
My beautiful childhood home —
Twenty-two rooms, orchards, greens, woods,
and a church at the bottom of the garden.
I kissed the cross, and all four walls,
before my dreams were demolished.
Re-housed in a flat-line estate
council regulation green and avocado,
five rooms and no soul,
the transistor, tinny tune,
Where’s your Mama gone?
echoing in my heart.
PHOTO: Hazlehurst, Hasland, Derbyshire — The author’s childhood home.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My mother was a caretaker of a beautiful Georgian house — once a vicarage. It was a day centre for ex-miners who had been disabled at work; it was also offices for the Coalite Company (Ciswo). The house was called Hazlehurst, and I lived there from 1967 to 1977. The foundations of the house collapsed due to mining in the area, and it was decided to demolish the house. We were rehoused in a two bedroom council flat. During this period my parents’ marriage broke up and my mother left.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandra Carr-Malcolm was born and raised in Chesterfield, Derbyshire (United Kingdom). She now lives in Yorkshire and works as a freelance British Sign Language Interpreter within the Yorkshire region. Alex has been featured in many collaborative anthologies by Dagda Publishing where part of the proceeds is donated to worthy charities. Her first anthology Tipping Sheep (the right way) was released in 2013. Her second anthology, Counting Magpies, was released in October 2015. Her poems can be found on her blog:www.worldlywinds.com.