We had walked to the end of the glass arcade –
my auntie was showing us bomb-damaged buildings –
when a man with a rope in his hand made us stop.
He said, “Stay where you be.” Then he played tug-o’-war
with a house and it grumbled, then kneeled and lay down.
It gave a last shiver and spat out red dust.
Its bones were all broken and poking out, black.
I remember its smell of wet soot and old rags
and how somebody cried for the house that had died.
© Sue Lansdell