The traffic was at a standstill on the A38,
so I turned off and took the back roads into Birmingham.
It was already later than I'd hoped,
and I still had to go into town
to exchange christmas presents,
then get to Maple Dene to see mama,
before heading to the airport and flight home.
The back roads turned out to be longer
and busier than I'd expected.
Through Sutton Coldfield, past the hotel
where my dad did his shows,
past the turning to Sutton Park,
where my brother made me dive off the boat
to pick up his weights from the bottom of the lake.
Into Erdington (where I took my driving test),
past the turn for Oscott, and the cemetery
where my Babcia, and my brother,
and my dad and aunt and uncle
Back onto the A38 at Spaghetti Junction.
Aston Hall on the right, where we used to go
with Mama and Mietek,
to walk his alsation in the park.
On into the Bull Ring, old roads and new roads,
past what used to be the Mercatt Cross,
(where we watched Fashion play,
and drank underage), and,
missing the turn for the car park,
through chinatown into Hurst St to park
up by the Hippodrome.
All changed, and all the same.
Later than I'd hoped.