For Whom the Ball Fells

They’re tearing Haigh and Hochland down,
Sharp fingers, soon to be demolished, point
Towards the greyed sky.
They’re going to build an education block
Which stretches like a black Hollywood horror blob
Along the Oxford Road:
And even to me, a short lived memory like the old H and H,
Had something precious in it.

The Manchester I have briefly known,
Has changed, even in this brief encounter,
Like a decaying amoeba.
With every moment another building topples,
Leaving a muddy bomb site to be covered by the blob
Of education precinct:
And this is how it must be; H and H, and all the other half memories
Will fall like Rome.

Perhaps in 1984,
Wiser with the accrued capital of age,
I can return.
And I will see this rolling campus plain,
Extending as far as ageing eyes will be able to see,
To the nearest drunken undergraduate:
Rolling along the Oxford Road, safe from being prematurely sent  down

By a number 43 bus!

 © Mike Roden 1968