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Kate Rancid

Waiting For June

Waiting For June

What's this walking down my street?
With air-walk trainers on its feet?
Bedecked in clothes that come from Gap,
And topped with Nike baseball cap?

Another one is close behind,
And then another of its kind,
Is this just their social 'norm',
This grey and khaki uniform?

A ghastly sight seen every day,
As each one wends its woolly way,
Throughout our litter-covered streets,
Omitting little sheep-like bleats.

One face blends in to another,
Perhaps they share a common mother?
Why else would they dress like clones,
In beige and grey, all monotone?

The female ones wear black heeled boots,
And yellow highlights hide the roots,
A sleeveless jacket, grey or khaki,
For when the northern weather's parky.

Boot-cut jeans in black or navy,
Hair quite long and straight, not wavy (that was last year),
Back-packs are, on close inspection,
Bought from Gap or French Connection.

Holding hands they scream and whoop,
Never straying from the group,
(The outside world is bad and scary,
The streets are rough, the locals hairy).

It's hard to tell the males apart,
Their hair is shorter. That's a start,
And the noises they omit less shrill,
But louder and more piercing still:

"You should have seen me out last night!
Tarquin almost had a fight!
Anna was a real disgrace!
Oh God, man. I was sooo off my face."

The girls engage in their own banter,
Between neat sips of Diet Fanta,
"I don't get what this essay means
- but do you like my Kookai jeans?"

Up the hill as if for grazing,
Go the students - "Fab! Amazing!"
Past the shops and run-down streets,
They kick the litter with well-heeled feet.

But when the summer rolls around,
A kind of quiet bliss is found,
By those who don't go 'home' each year,
Remaining, uncomplaining, here.

Our children get to sleep before us,
Without the aid of a drunken chorus,
The old ones get to rest their bones,
Without the threat of flying traffic cones.

No more queuing behind some 'geezer'
As he pays for twenty pints on Visa,
Or fumbles with his Switch or Solo,
For one pint of milk and a packet of sugar-free Polos.

And at last the buses are actually stopping!
And we can get off with our bags of shopping!
Without hoards of students who stand round the door,
Despite fifty seats on the upper floor.
(Don't they have double-deckers in Hertfordshire?)

Come June it's time to whoop and cheer,
At last the summer hols are here
For three whole months they've gone away,
No more beige. And no more grey.

Hip hip hip hip hip . . . hooray.

Kate Rancid (b. 1973)