Street Ghosts

Mark Valentine

On the way to the old alabaster works,
on a hot day, the river brown and slow,
buzzards above the hill, the air still,
we came upon the overgrown mosaic
made by local children years ago,
a picture-book plan of their world:
cars, ponies, trains, church, school,
mostly succumbing to the red mud,
the bright tiles cracked or chipped;
an abandoned tableau, zest now lost,
its artists grown up and gone away,
streets haunted by dandelion ghosts.

Mark Valentine lives in Yorkshire and likes second-hand bookshops, vegan food, canal walks, small towns, and village hall flea markets. His work has appeared in PN ReviewAgendaM58Finished CreaturesRacemeVolumeAtrium and in a chapbook, Astarology (Salo Press, 2021).