Poem: Hometown Hymn

This town
Is a downtrodden woman.
She’s been through rough patches
She still has scars.
And when she’s angry
Her mind is a clogged ring road –
You can’t get through to her
However much you yell and fume.
She’s not pretty
Her clothes are an inside-out
Patchwork of times and memories
Which sometimes even she
Can’t make out.

But even so she’s proud
And when you call her names
She responds with
A firework display
A dazzling flicker of defiant life
She laughs
A mellow, bubbling sound like
People pouring out of a pub
On a Sunday afternoon
Her voice from a mile away
Is a warm embrace
The arms of her roads
Reach out into the future
And despite the tinges of grey
I think she is beautiful.

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