My city is a dark murmur outside the window tonight,
but I see everything – how we came, where we settled,
where we belong. I see the fresh stamp on my mother’s passport,
how she lit the Broomspring Centre crowned in flowers,
held the hand of a village boy in Weston Park.
I see the arrival of us Jessops babies,
that first icing sugar snow at Edward Street Flats,
the moon, a halo over Tinsley Cemetery.
I see the mothers flocking the gates of Springfield Primary
waving attendance certificates like flags.
Mr Cole’s cloud-soft hair, as we
curve around him like riverbeds.
I see the landmark places we came of age –
London Road, Spital Hill, Broomhall
where we grew tall like tower blocks.
I see Ponderosa’s Eid in the Park, the rows
of patterned prayer mats, boys in fresh new trainers,
grandmothers offering duas like sweets,
and fathers carrying their daughters high,
high above our city’s streets. I see it all tonight –
how we came, where we settled, why I belong.