Ode to home

Let’s all meet up in the year 2000

we said, a good few years before the song,

outside McDonalds, it was supposed to be,

6th April, 12 noon, I think. I often wonder

if anybody showed up. I know McDonalds

is still there. So, too, are the lions,

and the elephants, I believe.

I am making it sound exotic.


Hill town, mill town, a home in.a bowl,

surrounded. Pennines on the side.

Reflections in puddles, the town hall clock

graced the credits of Coronation St. Its gunnels and accents

made me homesick, but not sick enough

to go back. C&A, BHS, gone now.

Some of the chimneys, too, brought down

brick by brick. It’s dangerous work.


Barm cakes and naan bread, not a place

to do the Atkins, to be honest.

It seems we spent childhood eating things in vinegar from paper cups:

cockles, pickles, black peas – no-one down here knows what they are.

Also pea wet and scraps, treacle toffee,

burnt baked potatoes on Bonfire Night, parkin, pasties.

All is music or food, and fireworks set off in the back streets

of terraces. Catherine wheels, rockets.

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