Small town story

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Worn red sandstone, grey slates slipping. Salesmen knocking on terraced doors. Serviette swans swim on tables set for dinner. Swollen feet trapped in tiny slip-on shoes, mussel shell blue.

Seaside town

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The river meets the sea here. In a sycamore tree a small birds nest sways. Pied wagtails skip along the path between the pharmaceutical plant and the shore. A pilot boat heads out to a ship anchored beyond the lighthouse. High tide. Railway sleepers, pallets, geese flying south. Dog shit, tinsel, good morning, aye right. Voices carry, across the water, boat engines, hammers, hi viz . Children run as the school bell rings. Old men in caps, hands buried deep in their coat pockets. Out for a paper, filling a day. January. Forgotten. And a thin sun falls for a moment on a line of white washed shirts, a brattle of pegged seagulls bursting to take flight.