are going out all over as I stand on one side of the Dearne and look over to where I patrolled the night before.
North Gawber colliery on the one side, Amco plant on the other. Where the lights are less I can see the other.
Tall concrete and steel warehouses, night workers. Unlike mine repair shops you can hardly hear their hammers and their welding on your walk outside, for another hour and a half, before a twenty minute break: get your coat off, note time of arrival, pray it’s not a dodgy biro,e quick slurp from your flask before out again to renew intimacy with Siberian cold.
The winter evening before stood sentry on the frozen cracked concrete edge of North Gawber pit I saw Willow bank , the only known site in South Yorkshire for plants with the weird names Frogbit and Whorled WaterMillfoil fall away to the Dearne.
Remains of old forest flank flow of river and misused canal where barges once unloaded prosperity, loaded hope to move away.
What did you know of history then? Wished you knew how to make go faster shifts.
And at night at Amco on the other side you walk along calm as owt, moan what a boring job this is, goalrake odd stones and wham! an industrial light half blinds.
Like a concentration camp searchlight snapped on you’ve been caught escaping, sirens go off and others are woken from sleep and all the massive orange plant, motorway builders still as museum dinosaur bones, stare at you, their metal darknesses deeper
and hear gust shake chains on their fuel tanks whip up shallow gravel round empty temporary huts, echo off discarded plastic wrapping.
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