Home Town by Steph Lonsdale

Last night

we walked past your flat

my daughter and I,

home from Alexandra Park.

We’d seen

cricket on the green

scenes of my Manchester

couples kissing

families eating picnics

one kid fishing

and teenagers

artfully staged on a park bench.





ginger hair

and everywhere


The world is here

in my back yard

but all of us the same.

We walked home again.

She slipped her hand in mine

as they might have looked

for those of their mothers

last night

after you came.

We walked home again

down Carlton Road

home again

to love

and light

and warmth

and laughter.

You walked in the opposite direction.

What did you see

where I saw pink balloons?

Girls in dancing shoes

the fun

and excitement

of first time out with friends.

Dropped at the stairs by careful Dad

who watches them

until they are safe in the door,

sure to be there waiting

when the last note is played.

Last night

where you sought

to shake out seeds of fear

choking weeds

to reduce the contents of our hearts

to nought,

sought to slash us the bone

with a scythe of chaos,

I saw solidarity,

half a million hearts of my city

that feel each loss

as if it were their own.

Hearts that welcome us in

welcome us home

like they probably welcomed you.

Your seeds of fear

and hatred

fall on barren ground

in my home town.

They will never take root.

This is Manchester.

We do things differently here.

© Steph Lonsdale

Read more #westandtogether #Manchester poems here