Lost things.


Snow sky blooms. Vast clouds of darkest grey. At the Albert docks a man appears at my left shoulder. His glasses are spattered with sleet as he looks up at the cranes.’Do you know what the name of the middle crane is ?’  ‘Its a level luffer’. He goes on to tell me he used to work for the company that made them in Carlisle and explains their engineering principle. He talks about how after the war you could visit the warships and submarines docked here and how the quaysides were chocked full of cargo and stevedores. Does that job still exist, or even the word ? Perhaps it has slipped quietly away with the level luffer, archived in an underground climate controlled library beneath the permafrost. The man in the gabardine coat takes his leave, happy to have passed on the naming and explanation of a crane. The snow doesn’t come to Leith, but maybe up in the hills it is falling, drifting over our hidden repository of lost things.

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