This poem is about the part of London where I was born. It is about my earliest memories of the place I lived as a very small child.
River scented Chiswick, before the motorway,
red brick walls, black-car empty streets,
thin men cycle, trousers clipped and grey,
safe from bicycle chain tangles.
Black paint, chipped, front gates close with a snick.
Three queues in Cullens: meat, cheese and dry goods,
broken biscuits brimful in open tins, cheap and tempting.
Past the cross-legged tailor, perm-stink of hairdressers,
wooden countered Woolworths, with tinny, wind-up toys
sharp edged, bright red and yellow, from Japan.
Mothers in flowered frocks, drink milky tea room tea.
I dirty my chalk white sandals
playing beneath Chiswick House