Working Class Manifestos 2021 by Antony Owen

Walk with me my love through the Trump funded Oaks daubed red to be cut down and I shall hold your face like a tragic promise in the sold-out wind there. Did you know trees are betrothed to sky in rings that form an atlas into bark made from oceans that fell on their knees praying from East to West. It’s the way she said “I love you, always have, always will” and these working-class manifestos are forged from all the suns we lived through that lifted and fell like veils of queuing Brides dressed in spindle silk for one day in Pakistani meadows. Yes, Pakistan has meadows, it is so much more than just war.

Walk with me my love where our friends with wrong tongues shouted hopeless rebellions at a country that cut them down like oaks. Look at the streets where Hombres photographed a moving flag of Britain where saltires of market stalls criss-crossed through Small Heath in Braeburn pinks like the colour of his cheeks, yes, the colour of his non-white cheeks. Look at the empty shop wells where that woman who God forgot wore a scarf over her face so believers would feed her, oh man I believed in God that day when she left fatter. Yes, women who cover their faces there are people like me who really saw you.

Walk with me my love through miasma of pepper sprayed streets and hold your head up high to keep your nose from bleeding. Walk with me to the pin striped man who popped the world like a blue and green balloon and ask him to excuse us. Run with me past Trump and Murdoch Boulevard where birds sing past the curfew and after our sixty-hour working week we’ll catch the privatised rain in jam-jars and hope no one reports us for stealing the sky. Sleep by me my love and I’ll send a contraband text to our friends who now live in enemy states. Dream with me, my love.

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