The large dressed stones of the landing wharf and the
curving away ditch of the never completed canal
are what remains. Ash saplings grow along
the uneven embankment and what might have been
intended as a bridge now has a blue
tarpaulin draped across.
Darkening trees have grown all around,
serpentine roots seeking down the joints between
the stone blocks. A van, tyres sunk among old leaves,
has its thin bonnet raised and one back door open.
Deep tractor tracks lead away from two oil drums.
The bottom of the tarpaulin is mud-splashed, its folds
green with algae. A cock pheasant flaps and croaks
not that far away.
Sam Smith (UK)