Posted in Poetry

My Street

In my street,

the dads went to work every morning in a clean

suit. Before work, they drunk espressos

and bought new packs of cigarettes. Not my dad.

My dad didn’t smoke, and he only wore suits

for weddings and funerals. My dad baked eight

trays of pastries and fried thirty Berliners, all

before the other dads set off to work. When

the other dads came home from work

before dinner, my dad was still at work.

My dad was always working.

In my street,

while dads were at work, mums cleaned the house,

went to the market and did the school run. Not my mum.

My mum worked alongside my dad in our family business.

In my street,

children went to school in the morning, played

outside after school and watched TV. Not me.

Before school and after school and on school holidays,

I worked alongside my mum and dad in our family

business. Before school, I served espressos and cigarettes

to the other dads in my street. Every Saturday morning,

my mother gave me a list for the market and another

for groceries. Eight-year-old me knew her way

around the fish market and the supermarket, but

didn’t know any of the characters of Sesame Street.