Within furlongs of the refinery,
the car show rooms and the retail park
are Viking colonies – for fish and farm
in the rich, marshy land on the south bank
of the estuary, where the river’s
current made a wide, shallow pool before
the mammoths and the sabre-toothed tigers left.
Some of the hamlets are part of the town –
others are down haphazard hedgerow lanes.
Upstream the sugar ships docked, the slavers sailed.
In the town, on the railings of the nascent
mosque erstwhile Wesleyan chapel, beneath
high rise flats, a pig’s head is skewered
a couple of streets from the nearest food bank.
Under the wide arcades of the retail park
women in burqas stroll.