Autumnal Burnt Oak, 6am
I walked the length of the road from up at the junction to the station down the hill where the road caves in before rising again. The morning was inebriated with winter-crisp street lights refracting in a thin fog hovering between the two baleful rows of rundown terrace houses, & the shuttered store-fronts & rubbish strewn on the pavement & tarmac evoked a curfew in a B-list zombie flick. All were fled; the dross, debris, detritus – the evidence of a hasty flight – sat cold in a dewy coat, & the road was dead except for the languid motion of the apparently living. The dawn workforce was not plodding to work but rather prowling the pavements, straying, occasionally, off onto the litter-spotted ground beyond the kerb as if foraging for scraps like dawn-clad foxes sniffing the spoor of leaky refuse bags. Disorientated & displaced, I trailed a silent couple that broke its way through the haze of stagnant particles, following a purpose. […] This Burnt Oak was a postcard of the rare charm of the baited working-class posing against weary, dilapidated urbanity.