Autumn in Heald Green

Autumn in Heald Green, where
big houses close wrought-iron gates
against slow-moving rain, where
Cash ‘n’ Carry and Bargain World talk
retail theory and sales seasonal – or not:
Guy Fawkes
New Year
now misty in-between.

Not even the most indecent
shop-keep can decently erect,
to brighten this forecourt of Hallowe’en,
Christmas lights, to upset his neighbours’ projects,
to throw down fairy-light challenge
in front of tradition’s noble order,
to tip all into calendrical chaos.

Backwater Heald Green
dabbling in firewaters of retail
rebellion. Forget it! Know your place
in the pecking order
in time
on the map
be successiveness correct
make sure, in your slowly-seeking car,
you use only permitted parking space.

E A M Harris