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Listening to The Streets

The places where we party, protest, riot Are silent, eerily quiet No shops or bars Fewer lorries and cars But once a week we still congregate Once a week, starting at 8 You find yourself listening to the streets People clapping every Thursday night for the last six weeks The cheers going up to the skies, From the five-bed pile to the high rise Pots and pans banging in the road, in the cul-de-sacs, From the estates, the terraces, the country tracks Whoops from windows, a klaxon sounding from a balcony, Horns beeping from cars I cannot see And I may not be able to get anywhere near you, But oh my god! Does it feel good to hear you - This fifteen minutes of rolling applause Before we all disappear back indoors. But we could never make enough noise, to recognise the contribution Of everyone who works for our country’s greatest institution We could never shout loud enough, to match their compassion, dedication, But every Thursday you’ll hear thanks go up from a deeply grateful nation Our cheers chasing away the clouds Swarming in the streets filling the absence of crowds.

(Apologies to Mike Skinner for the title)

By Clair Whitefield


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