We’ve been studying drainage and soils and

how to stop nature from destroying the school,

with class-crowds of kids.

running into the hills, along vague trails

finding:

A door into the ground,

Networks of drains running along edges and folds,

An ivy-choked creek behind high fencing

A fat snake sliding out of sight

holing up under some stairs.

.

Winter rains flowed under the blacktop

seeping through cracks,

floating mosaics of asphalt away,

causing heaving of the soil

that concrete foundations ride

on seasonal waves.

.

Moss fills small fissures first

followed by entitled tall grasses,

baby bushes and tiny oaks whose trunks

will expand cracks into crevasses.

.

Chernobyl’s nuclear city thirty years after has

trees growing through classroom windows and floors,

stuffed animals and blankets left on rusty-sprung beds

in the hurry to get to the busses.

Fairground rides and dodgems grown over with vines,

the gradual decay softening right-angle edges.

.

Nature will always survive in one guise or another

with us riding along

or maybe bucked off

unless we expand the cracks with credible hope.

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