Brownfield morning

Cold stinging rain beats on pot-holed tarmac.
Down at the corner, opposite the pub,
they're throwing up another samey clutch
of pokey des res boxes, muddy birth-pangs

masked by hoardings festooned brightly
with artist-impression dreamscapes, offers
of a five-percent reduction for first-time buyers.
Artics squeal to a stop at the lights, pump

particulates along the pavement. Soon, traffic
will shake naff ornaments on plastic Adams mantlepieces,
on a site where once men forged bright steel
to build a world that crumbled as they aged.


For overseas readers:

tarmac: tarmacadam road surface (US 'hardtop')

naff: lacking taste or style

brownfield: having had previous development on it (as opposed to 'greenfield' countryside)

artic: articulated lorry (truck) - same as (US) 'semi'

pavement: (US) 'sidewalk'

des res: desirable residence - common estate agent (US 'realtor') abbreviated sales pitch advertising term