• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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Greenland Mills

for Sam

This mill shut years ago when cloth went north.
In the 80s smaller businesses cleared
off too – a tennis ball manufacturer,
foundry for cast-iron manhole covers,
a print works – in advance of conversion
to apartments. Nothing happened, of course,
so the site enjoyed unplanned renaissance
as a playground for trainee arsonists,
curious boys, glue sniffers, damp lock-ups
for shady antique dealers. Now we loom
from the mill's brick-smashed office dormer,
gaze through holes in the weft of purlin and warp
of grey sky and listen as a blackbird's
thin bright thread of song works loose in the breeze.