(Old Businesses) 1/2
The cost of a child is £15,000
The cost of a Birthday Cake is £7.99 from the Bakery, or £15 if
the missus tries her hand, 4 hours baking, two failed attempts
The cost of a wedding ring lost during wash-up – we never had a
chance to fit it right – is a couple hundred,
Many tears and a few cuddles,
Gold, we can buy back but a smile for me, from my missus,
And the cost of a marriage is compromise and sacrifice
And the cost of owning a corner shop is a one passed down from
a father, and a father before him
And the cost of a Friday night with the old boys is one too many
cans of coke and one too many dad jokes told
And all that sugar’s gonna cost a headache when the shutters
slide up in the morning
And the cost of the broken glass everywhere is fear,
The cost of the nightclub mess on the wall is a bucket of water,
The cost of replacing the CCTV Camera is,
Who will ever know it’s been broken for years? Versus,
What happens when someone dares?
And the cost of two parents working
is a voice at the council meeting
And now the cost of the walking park is a car parking space
And the cost of new Tesco is lost business and new worries for
old bills, and red-lined letters landing on the welcome mat with all
the weight of a full stop.
(Old Businesses) 2/2
But forget about costs for now,
Because in the end the cost of a birthday cake is £45 – we got it
right on the third try – Birthday banners a tenner,
Neighbours, family and long-time customers all huddled in a dark
old flat to sing my son a surprise.
The cost of a child is pride, and isn’t that worth everything,
Blow out the candles, make the first slice,
Look mum, isn’t this your ring?
Young people from across the ArtsTrain project worked with poet and musician Joshua Idehen (https://slam.poetrysociety.org.uk/joshua-idehen/) to create a series of spoken word pieces in response to gentrification from the perspective of four different groups – New Residents, Old Residents, New Businesses and Old Businesses.