ON RED HILL

by Peter Branson

We scaled Red Hill as kids, passed council homes
and coppice, farm track, steeds in tow, crossed mill-
pond’s dry pie-crust to outlaw-tumbling wood,
wild bikes to stow, wolf-heads beyond barbed wire.
What dwarfed the church and narrow minding streets,
in my child’s view, is gentle slope today,
to silent fields where lark and lapwing thrived,
the Peaks a dozen haze-blue miles, beyond
the consequence of Manifold and Dove.
My father, grandfather, died satisfied,
the Welfare State and workers’ rights, the world
they handed on : What would they make of us?
Their struggle thwarted, ours has just begun;
mountains to climb, fresh battles to be won.

 

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