Dear Birmingham by Callum & Melissa Bates

Dear Birmingham,

As I walk down one of the 12 veins that leads to your heart,

The unexpected rain plays music on my head,

Hidden gems circulate in your cold blood,

Not sure where to deposit their wealth,

But Birmingham why do you seem so confused

A pick pocket played at their own game

Your streets were too cold

Cobbles and un-slabbed corners

Miniature canals from the rain you summoned

Your new glass shields converged with stone structures leave your twisted metal sculptures looking tired

Worn down by your acid rain tears underdog

Understated child

Temper tantrums throwing fists at those who put you down,

But do you really miss those attempts to run with the big dogs,

Cause we all know your saving up your stamina for your triumphant return,

Resilient bricks are your scaffolding,

You are a phoenix among pigeons.

Learning to fly

One knock at a time you shrugged them off,

And with each knock you became more free,

With each knock you captured the hearts of distant travellers and begged them to stay,

You’re a speck on a map,

A dimple

A freckle

A blemish

But never an imperfection,

You never need to cover up Birmingham because your beauty is more than skin deep,

It lives in the feet that bless your pavement and the hidden vaults that fill your cavities,

You never shy away

You’re crumbling

Bite after bite

Crunching away at the concrete buildings

Your aura is bipolar,

Your breath always always creates mist no matter the weather,

Wear your clouds as your headband and keep running Birmingham

Pace yourself

Keep your head down and breathe,

This is a marathon not a sprint and your young lungs will never fail.

You are the voice of diversity,

A microcosm of a nation

Your nation is already built

Stood behind you

Trust me, you’ve had your fair share of dickheads

Like moths to the broad street lights

Intoxicated by concentrated vodka

You stumbled through Birmingham

Always making it through worst for wear

And even though you may wear the scars of their corrosive vomit they messily sketch you story

You are beautiful as both receiver and beholder,

Don’t listen to them Birmingham

You’re a petulant child

Ears covered by tiny hands and fumbling fingers

You weren’t yet self sufficient

You were a mosquito draining blood off other entities Birmingham,

And everyone tried to shoe you away but you dodged those hammer fists

You lingered like a stalling butterfly

Left without the energy and forced movement with anaerobic respiration led to your internal combustion

You starved yourself of oxygen,

But you didn’t suffocate,

You bloomed like daffodils trying to find their way to the spring sun,

Keep growing Birmingham

Your roots craved nutrients

Stems grew strong

Your flowers in full bloom Birmingham

But they were never roses

No one’s favourites

But the occasional connoisseur picked you out,

Stuffed you into their lapel pockets and wore you to every occasion,

These people are yours Birmingham,

And they are the craziest,

Zaniest,

And most extraordinary people out there

And You’re a blunt tool that can always be sharpened

And as I walk to the end of this one way path Birmingham,

Carve your initials into this wall

And cut me out a new path

Our wings are no longer stalling Birmingham

It’s time to set your creations free

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