For Leeds and Prato
The thread that runs from one to one
is only as long as the miles separating
the kilometres between two sides of a life.
One a medieval settlement
an alliance of two saints, tied together by a single belt;
the youngest grubby sister of a Renaissance family.
The other reborn in Victorian industry
and expanding year after year, red brick over red brick
into a paisley pattern of terraces.
One caught up in its past
streets tangled in a knot of time
so tight the sunlight can’t cut through.
The other unravelling so fast
across the present and into the future
that buildings rust before they are built.
Two parallel threads
linking Island and Continent,
uniting North and South,
encased in belts and chains
of the Pennines, degli Appennini.
Some loose ends remain
but family ties weave together
these twin cities of cloth;
two parallel threads converging
into a pattern of a tapestry
seen from the other side.
Barefoot in the Park 2012 Poetry Competition
Judge: Paul Maddern