Escape by Phil Barling

 I want to smell petrol, hear buses and cars
down Deansgate and Parkway, airport-bound for the stars
wailing and flailing into wild Friday night,
screams of delirium, screams of delight
I want to hear those Metro doors whoosh
The “How’s it goin?” the “How are ya’s”, the whole crazy caboose
Colliding bodies, the “Sorrys”, the pub singalongs
the buskers, Big Issues, the Chuggers, the pongs
of dodgy kebab shops, of perfume and pies
Smiles wide as motorways, replacing dead eyes
I want takeaways, taxis, and train station sadness
Saturday night pre-fills, the mascara madness
reflections in shop windows open for business
the dancing, the acting, the old fairground dizziness
I want old friends and strangers, the kooky, the clowns
The crackle of barbeques in city and towns
Leave the woods to the sparrows, fed up with our chatter
Take again to the streets, to the chaos and clatter
of Bolton’s big market, the barter and call
The touching, not too-muching, just closeness, that’s all
I want oxygen of folk, giving life back to street
The “Hiyas”, the “See ya’s”, the places we meet
to shake hands, hug and kiss, on a cool afternoon
I want to escape there, it can’t come too soon

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