The Soul's Retreat

Changes

by on Aug.09, 2010, under General, Poetry

I came here from Salford
Where the only thing ‘soft’ is the water.
(Oh how I miss that sweet water)

The Salford I knew and loved
Was fast disappearing
Under masses of ugly concrete facades,
And incomers –
The druggies, ex-cons,
And the mothers who couldn’t care less
About anything else
But where the next fag, and can of beer
Was coming from.
All their kids dressed in the finest of
Designer label gear,
All purchased of course from
The ‘Back of the Lorry’ store.

Law abiding citizens were now outnumbered,
And the immaculate but poor houses
With their proudly kept gardens,
And ‘white-stoned’ door-steps
Were quickly being replaced with sad, neglected windows
Framed with nicotine stained curtains,
And paint-flaked doors,
Their gardens awash with modern art forms
Of twisted scrap metal and black bin-bags.

They can’t blame poverty.
Oh no…
We knew poverty, all of us, together.
The only time children had new clothes
Was ‘Whit Week’,
When all the neighbours expected a visit
From the local kids in their new finery,
And they would tip them a penny or two
For the pleasure it gave them.
Every neighbour was an ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’,
There was respect, and caring, and love.

How quickly things change..
How I achingly feel the nostalgia.
Talking of the good old days
Like my Gran used to do.
We would smile, and raise our eyes to the ceiling
But loved every moment of her reminiscences.
‘Tell us about the old days Gran’
And we’d gather round to listen.

Now I am Gran!
Now I reminisce and mourn old times,
And fear for my future generations.
We moved to a new place,
To the seaside,
To give everyone a better life,
But we find no greener grass here,
Only the same old pastures.
A few years behind, but quickly matching pace
With the sad renaissance of Salford.

And how I miss that sweet water!

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