Umbrage Row [Life In A Terraced Street]

There will be ‘Domestics’ tonight
in No.s 3, 7, 32, 44, 56 and 58
… because, as everybody knows
on every second Wednesday
God, the Devil, or maybe Both
… invented ‘Giro Day’.
The dirty kids will be kerbside,
stuffing their gobs with junk…
chocolate and packets of crisps,
sold at the local Off-Licence…
but, at least they’re eating, right
… the few lucky ones,
who’s ‘Rents are still ‘With-it’
by the 7pm opening time,
might get thrown some coins
to spend down the Chip Shop.
The pub-drinkers amongst them,
will be arriving back in taxis,
anywhere from 11:30pm onwards.
Still wired-up from the Speed,
and pissed-up on cheap lager
… they’ll not be ready yet
to go safely back-in-doors…
and will congregate in the street.
Within half an hour of this…
there’ll be female voices yelling
“He-e-e-y, n-o-o-w, sunshine!”
Then their gladiator men are off,
ripping open their own shirts
(Oh, can’t you hit the bastard
without all that nonsense?
I’m sick of sewing buttons on)
whilst falling over their own feet.
There’ll be ‘Blood’ all down
the faces of once ‘ansome men
… until a ‘Memory’ will surface,
and a spectator will shout over
“Watcha doing? you’re mates,
you daft buggers, you’re like kin
… remember that time?
aye, and that other time, as well
… half the Town feared ya both!”
Then there’ll be friendly hugging
“I love you, man… ”
“No, no, it’s me who loves you… ”
someone’ll have to step-in quickly
afore they kick-off again over that.
And, the next day will be quiet…
stretching up and into the afternoon
… apart from the numerous
verbal abuses, thrown with anger,
from drawn-curtained windows…
at the Postman delivering junk mail,
no longer the hero of the day before.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer, who’s currently up to his elbows in Magic, and long may it remain this way. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.