I first noticed the village pump some years ago
when there were farms, spreading fields,
a lovers lane, open sky to the west.
Today, I find a maze of habitation,
a settlement satisfied with itself,
taking serenity for granted
leaving such little trace;
a pond of sorts surviving,
crude tyre marks of mountain bikes
bloodied by mud at the bank.
I was frankly lost
but then, as the sullen sun made jewels
of TV aerials I wandered
at the mercy of strangeness
and found that pump again,
it's spout and handle like the beak and tail
of a cormorant petrified,
a still life in its frame from the past.
It was here we played Mr and Mrs in the sun,
my biceps against your thighs,
our two bikes on their sides in the grass.
We fantasized then about textbook yokels
slaking their thirst under that same merciless sun
host to new invaders,
to the raising of families
caught up in their destinies
while ours perished in the dustbowl
of forgotten dreams.