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How It Was

We lived in a cottage,
with flowers, with trees, with birdsong.

From my bedroom window
fields in every direction.
In summer, studded with buttercup gold,
in winter silvered with frost.

Sometimes there was snow,
so deep, so deep.
Like the winter of 63
when we were snowmen,
following deer and fox tracks
for miles and miles.

The gardens burst
with harvests: carrots, beetroot,
cabbages, and in the orchard
cherry, plum and apple trees.
Hedgerows thrummed with bees
and spangled with ladles
of Mum's blackberry jam.

But one morning machines appeared.
Metal jaws shredded roots:
bluebells, daffodils, the wild orchids.
They devoured a field, trees, our gardens.
Rabbits and foxes took flight.

We had to leave.
Our cottage was pulled down,
stone by stone.

And from a concrete ocean rose blank new homes.
From each home, a family.
They will never know the names of the trees.
They will never know the names of the flowers.
They trample over the nightingale's song.
They trample over my heart.
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
A poem based on where I lived, a little cottage in Broadfield Crawley, gone now along with so much beautiful countryside.
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