A Tale of Two Cities


Ilford Town


Ancient men gossip under shopping malls,

Like they would do somewhere under a tree in the Punjab,


Parades of children in black blazers and oily ties,

Walk past towards that KFC where Salvation Army stood,

It’s that time again for their daily chicken allowance,


The Po-po, guarding Card factory to stop thieving hands,

Mate, chill out!

Diamonds and thread cost more than card,


The congregation,


Has become a field of sugar canes,


This all looks very familiar,


An Uphall* camp where un-related aunties,

Walk past with their little handbags,

Ready with a hi or hello,


Is your mum okay?


Hanji… (yes)


We are on our way again,

Down this road of endless cracked slabs with crooked edges,


My back hurts from pulling this trolley.


*Oldest human settlement in Ilford, 1st and 2nd BC Iron Age. A time where people began to live in communities.