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Saturday, 5 May 2012
Work Experience, they called it.
Boys in their final year of school,
giving them the taste and touch of adult work.
Dredging the canal. That's what
the boys and the boys' leaders called it,
but really that was not the word at all.
Just clearing out the muck: the weeds,
the broken bicycles and wheels
was all that was required. But still,
the status that real work conferred, excited them.
The status of a word was overlooked.
Dredge became a part of their vocabulary -
so in the end, it happened to be what they did.
The bed had silted up with thick, brown clay.
They set-to with a will and scraped it all away -
the lining that was meant to keep the water in.
Some houses in the neighbourhood developed cracks,
as did a factory, a church hall and a pub.
Did someone then put two and two together?
Well yes, they did, eventually, but the town
was plagued with water in the ground long after that.