By Linda Marshall

has gate-crashed my house
bandy-legged cricket fans engage
in umbrella fights
damage my prize furniture
Halloween hoodlums
spray slime onto the carpets
curtains and settees
bikers high on boom bang bang
smash through the glass doors

wheels spinning in the air
land on the unlaid dining table
shopkeepers set up stall
crowding the living room
with good-for-nothing goods
noisy neighbours queue
to get an eyeful
of what they’ve never seen before

I go hide in the stair cupboard
where darkness that lurks
in the alleyway
by the public library
has settled in –
here I find glorious silence
till the party is over
and Headingley staggers home singing
falling into a roadside gutter

Linda Marshall 2023
(From Headingley Hullabaloo to be published in early November)
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