Oranges and lemons.
Rings across the south.
One is sweet to taste.
The other bitter in the mouth.
A tidal surge of swaling foulness sweeps in from The Smoke, washing the colour from the valley’s weeds.
Mama Thames is daughter of the sea, shaper of land, salting the shine from the shires till all is rust. We have no barrier to keep it out.
Where once poetic geezers rhymed the air blue across the E numbers the great bell falls on mutton ears. Sweet orange turned to bitter lemon.
Essexualised television presenters warn of stormy weather dressed for cheap cocktails, turning the air beige.
Their words rising, rising, breathlessly giddy, begging a question, only to end in a trailing so… of dead eyed disappointment, promising only rain.
The shores of the undefeated are lapped North and South by levelling waters swelling from the oyster zone, leaving spent shells underfoot as a souvenir.
With passing time rural tongues fall silent in their forgetfulness, gone the way of Elmley, pearly in their glass cases, class of 1888s.
We consume the spoken word wrapped in plastic and nuked for 4 minutes, in silence without stirring, looking anywhere but at each other.
But hold hard, we are creatures of accented language, lost in a sea of text and static. Typing in crashed traffic. Nose to tail we remain ourselves if we don’t forget.
I will remember. I will wear my street upon me, every stone and every crack. I will speak the way my parents do, though the crossing may never take me back.