The Cooling Towers at Didcot
‘The bride and bridesmaids – look!’ A child
is pointing from the swerving train.
A memory I must have filed
and labelled read again, again,
so long ago. Today, once more,
my train passes those plain squat towers:
I watch three women near the door
of a square church – they bear no flowers,
though veiled in white, stout matrons still
and faded like a photograph
of an old wedding-day – until
they disappear. Technology’s half-
life seems so short. The towers must go,
they say. Railways will follow too.
Our great-grand-children will not know
the secret Didcot sight we knew
and loved: a stately wedding march
which none but children recognise,
frozen in time, beneath the arch
of spacious, grey, indifferent skies.