Paignton by Ben Benyard
The precinct is alternately
pound stores and charity shops,
pasty flavoured rock and broken biscuits,
gormless boys and fierce girls.
Dream catchers and gollies,
fridge magnets, buckets and spades,
elderly couples sip tea in pavement cafes.
Scooters snarl up the seafront,
sand castles stomped by yobs,
donkeys who can tell a tale or two
about the faded peeling hotels.
Families in matching anoraks
eat chips out of polystyrene trays
on benches in memory of the forgotten.
And yet we flock in thousands,
walk hand in slippery sunscreened hand,
collect sea glass to catch the light.
Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, near Bristol, UK. He’s the author of a pamphlet, Communing (Indigo Dreams, 2016) and a full collection, We Are All Lucky (Indigo Dreams, 2018). He blogs and posts mixtapes at https://benbanyard.wordpress.com.