Morning Lane, Hackney: Revisited

(Published in Links, Spring 2002)

Morning Lane is falling down
and its dereliction is
like the end of time.

at 3am in the eternal night of
here, I stopped in this road
of compressed grief beneath
the sign ‘Morning Lane’

my lips mumbled ‘Morning Lane’
‘Morning Lane’ and I touched
the icon of its former self
the beginnings of its name
when milkmen’s carts clopped
over cobbles and vegetables
fruit and meat were swept in at dawn
to load the great city for its day.