By Neil J. Donald
Location: Redmires Court, Salford
Will you swap me your wild flowers for my graffiti and tags?
Or your lowing pastured cattle for the bark of my stray dogs
Trade me your peace & quiet for the drone of my traffic
Your organic and natural, my synthetic and plastic
Give me your fresh air in return for my fumes
And I’ll swap you Morris Dancers for my bangin’ tunes
Trade your District & General for my A&E
Prefer Agricultural College or Polytechnic University?
Give up your green lanes for my gum-scarred streets
Or the sound of your birdsong for my siren’s wail
Have my sink estates not your landed gentry
My Iron Duke not your Plough & Flail
I’ll swap you my skate park for a memorial to the dead
Your Post Office or my Aleef News
My bagel for your brown-bread
Your one-stop-shop for J.S. Sainsbury
Little England in return for racial diversity
I’ll take your depression if you’ll have my stress
My Time Out & What’s On, your Order of Service
W.I. or Band-on-the-Wall
My E.N.O. for your Village Hall
24/7 or quiet isolation
Horse & Hound vs. Sleaze Nation
Urban Chic / Rustic Charm
E.U. subsidies or a car alarm
A 20-mile drive or my black cab ride
Will it be tower block or barn for our teenage suicide?
Is it Gucci & Prada or Barbour and wax?
Want your tenement farmers or my poll-tax
Would you give up your life for one that looks like mine?
Drink a pint of local bitter or sip New World fine wine
Want to trade?
Want to swap?
Want to give it a try?
Neither do I.
Neil J. Donald is Manchester born and bred – Chorlton and Salford – now exiled to Heywood. He says: ‘What defines Manchester is what gives its children strength.’Stats: