More than ‘structurally unsafe’
When fire blazed through Knowledge Hotel,
three storeys collapsed inside, reduced
within hours to smoke and shivers.
Graffiti claimed the ragged brickwork.
Mould seized the corners. Feathered things
moved into the charred rafters.
Burnt beams and broken windows host
dawn parties for daredevil skydivers.
Woodlice, rats and damp own the cold shadows.
At night, echoes of running feet,
gusts of ice wind through cracked walls,
beating wings that aren’t owls.
Small-town street-talk blames ghosts,
but it’s most likely doped-up kids.
No one likes to mention the other sounds:
strange fragments of music that quiver
on the air, then gone – a Pied Piper
shrilling to the lost. We gather again
at the doorway, our children’s names
wedged in our throats. We call
for the wild to be returned to the wild.