The road north went past bungalows and spread-out homes. Pebble dash, cladding, painted concrete facings, and low walls. There weren’t so many trees at this end except for the thin stand of silver birch, white and skeletal, all stretched sinew and bleached out bone. They loomed tall and unexpected throughout my childhood. Watching over us. Whispering amongst themselves. Guardians amidst the brick and asphalt, a hollow way through.
Sometime, though, visiting my dad, the trees had all been felled, and he was surprised he couldn’t remember when. Some landmarks do that. So present in the memory they don’t need to be there to be cited still: left at the trees, or straight along past. Spirits of the wooden way, sentinel at the end of the road, a portal and a passageway.
Ghost trees standing. Whispering still.