Trading Histories

Castle Market

A poem by Suzannah Evans.

You’ve got to look for the positive he says,
dividing the ribs of an enormous animal
cleaver-swing, broken branch crack. He’s better off
without her says Graham behind the counter
laying out brisket and cling-filmed liver
his trilby a hygienic white. Better in the long run
says the woman at the till, slips her carrier bag
into her other hand, proffers a fiver.

The market has reduced to this last circle;
butchers, nut bar, chinese supermarket. Downstairs
they’re boarding up and going, more each day.
The card stall is long gone; the sign reads
FATHERS DAY 27TH JUNE (DON’T FORGET!)

But it’s December now and on the other side of town
a new market is rising like under tarpaulins
sticking out girdered knees and elbows to push up a roof.
They’ve cut windows in the temporary fencing
so we can watch the crane drivers and stare
into the cemented gape of its foundations.