• Mark Bird

Ode To Uttoxeter

A poem that revisits a childhood in Uttoxeter - no more, no less.


Ode To Uttoxeter


I remember that day back then

when we first found friendship

across the fields

beyond the train tracks of Uttoxeter

when the Stoke to Derby train flashed by

and superstition compelled us

to get off-ground

or at least lie on our back

like a Tiswas dying fly

and peddle our feet in the air

Where freshly mown grass

stained our clothes and soul

When we’d make fires

using useless greasy crisp packets

Where we'd dodge the farmers’ bullets

that we imagined in the distance

When every cow was a bull

that wanted to kill us

because we were wearing

red T-Shirts


Then as Mothers’ calls of “Teatime

rang out, rebounding

from red council bricks

Like homing pigeons

we flew back to our nests

Post river-hopping

Post shelter-snogging

Post Park Drive smoking

we cycled past the kids we once were

collecting bullfrogs in buckets


We promised we’d be

best friends forever

And we still kind of are

even though we’ve not met for years

Because in minds

haunted by ghosts

we shared one glorious day

back then

where history’s sunbeams shone

on fresh faces

on high hopes

on giant joy

on a childhood

that can only ever

be defined by us


Mark Bird



The Old Rec. Uttoxeter


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