A Market Memory

Mohamed Saloo

A child I was
With mum and dad
Developing memories 
Of times we had
A walk from home 
An afternoon spent
A stroll past chimneys
Of biscuit scent

Paving slabs 
Not tarmac paths
A walk by the side 
Of Batley baths
The art college stood
Gifted and free
Flowers of a garden 
Which we still see

The library and station
On a cobblestone square
Stalls of a market 
So proudly there
The sloping hill
Did not deter
The market traders 
Of yesteryear

We walked from stall
To stall and browsed
Stocks of a trader
Proclaimed out loud
A keen eye for bargains
In shillings and pence
Fresh fruit and veg
“You know it makes sense”

Stalls for bread
And imperfect fruit
Clothing stalls lined
With imperfect suits
Toy stalls noisy
And full of fun
From colouring pens
To Buck Roger’s gun

Brown paper bags
Being wrapped like swings
It seemed they did that
For everything
Price boards marked
Half-pence did see
Then any item sold
For just fifty ‘p’

Bags of shopping 
Carried away
Up hills where flats 
Still stand today
Reaching home
In a last ditch race
Memories of Batley’s
Old market place.

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