The starlings are still there belaboring their time in the copper beech
Screeching over winter bits and pieces, a flurry of blackness.
The house is gone, its character erased with the removal of the ivy,
The front door, the windows – all neo-Georgian now you know, ever so nice
Doubtless inside the old bones are creaking with new nails and screws and
Fixtures brought in directly from upmarket catalog shopping
And the smell of Tesco’s prawn korma sweating in plastic.
The dog is run, the old dogs long dead and the rhubarb patch and
Apple tree rows (how sweet the smell in spring) gone – a new tennis court.
I choose not to walk there now, remembering instead the hazy days and
The old chintz on favorite sofas, wall-to-wall wallflowers and peonies
And pansies in the borders. Rolling down the grassy banks in the summer,
While the gentle drone of Saturday racing came through the open garden door
And flapping old red curtains: we did not know that this would changeOr that our castle would not withstand the attack of the marauders.