Michael Swan: Street

One day I'll be famous
and they'll name a street after me.

I’d just as soon
sort this out now,
in case when I'm famous
I'm dead,
as tends to happen.

So, in my street I want
no semi-detacheds.
That is non-negotiable.

I do want
the kind of hardware shop,
that smells of paraffin and creosote
and sells everything.
Also a baker's,
an old-fashioned stationer's
with a cat in the window,
and a proper fish-and-chip shop.

There must be a pub with good beer
and bar billiards and no music.

No churches,
estate agents,
building societies,
health food shops,
or new age tat.

The street goes nowhere,
but has a green space at the end
with swings, a slide,
and the right kind of roundabouts.
The houses contain
a pleasing variety of people,
a lady with a poodle,
a kid with glasses who collects stamps,
a Polish lorry driver,
a family with a pet pig,
a man with a little observatory on his roof,
a locksmith, a woman who cultivates alpines,
and a retired balloonist.

No military men, politicians,
public relations persons,
or owners of Rottweilers.

Please see to it.

Street sign Swan Street