Alice Street, 1903 – Danny Gardiner

They named her ‘sweet Auburn’ where:

‘smiling Spring it’s earliest visits paid’.

With its streets with those evocative names . . .

Birmingham, Manchester, Gloucester, Canterbury, Salisbury.

In a spacious row of attractive cottages

With fine front fences and shady trees behind.

Horse and buggies pass down wide, unpaved avenues

Sloping gently away from the church at the rise.

There was an air of plenty – still bucolic;

the neighbourhood of our humble abode

Where bird song and cricket call dressed ends of day

And clocks tick in the parlour, a good book interrupted

By the welcome pause of tea-time

And a gaze from lounge window reflection;

The barking of a dog.


I’m still looking at a photograph


As a car on bitupave passes

and the far knock-off whistle blows from a factory.


I feel again with my hand

the texture of a passport to untold foreign lands.