About 1974, driving into London, my parents’ car,
I’d be terrified of the houses, those north London
hulks then slums and blocks, worst of all when
there were curtains – or even shampoo bottles.
Who lived there, how did they manage it, was
the food terrible – colours pastel and peeling.
I was warned about slums, how drinkers
drunk death, the rooms in black and white –
Don McCullin or Roger Mayne. Now that’s
gone, vanished like Atlantis or Lyonesse.
Perhaps they needed someone to dig
the roads out, so much got left there.
To be honest I don’t think it matters;
my social history is vastly pointless.
I could share a million memories
and still walk through some town,
to worry about who uses buses
so late, where this traffic goes.