Someone is at work, prising out paving stones.
The work looks proper, official, though he is wearing
a cement-dusted leather cowboy hat.
Someone has made space for something, a little block capped
with brass, a square palm-print outside one
of the houses of the nameless.
Someone has done his homework: HIER WOHNTE _____
a name, date, whatever’s available and
can be packed.
Someone has hammered in, punched each letter and number,
each dent in the silence of the clean sheet,
each word ringing with blows.
Someone has laid it in your tracks, something to stumble on:
a street testing its voice, ghost of a shine,
blind spot flickering off.
*‘Stumbling Blocks’: German artist Gunter Demnig’s ongoing project: memorialising those murdered in the Holocaust by setting plaques outside the houses they originally lived in. His website is www.stolpersteine.com
Mark Granier’s work has been published in a number of magazines and journals over the years, including The TLS, The Horizon Review, The Spectator, The Irish Times and Poetry Ireland Review; also on the Limelight, Daily Poem and Verse Daily websites. He was awarded a Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in 2011. His third collection, Fade Street, was published by Salt in 2010.