Across the car park cobbles shone,
Inverted haloes, drizzle formed,
Before I crossed the road I’d smell
The resin smoke and naptha rags.
Cravats and faded patterned shirts,
Cut off from history, cast adrift:
The gladioli, hearing aids,
The ancient fabrics, damp and cold.
Above a tape of Mark E. Smith,
Of Morrissey, The Doors and Cud,
The doorbell rang, the clothes rails scratched,
The northern rain kept up its beat.
It could have been a thousand years:
How many hands, how many tears?