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Can anybody tell me why he’s perched up there?
With his alpine dress and his unwavering stare,
Sitting on a window sill, high up in Piccadilly,
Sunbathing ‘n’ chilling’ even when it’s wet ‘n’ chilly.

He looks just like he’s resting from chopping up some wood,
Like he’s laid down his axe as soon as he possibly could,
So that he can take a breather from his alpine work,
But still he looks down on us with a casual, knowing smirk.

Because he knows the reason, even if historians don’t,
Of why this building was designed… so Alpine-ly bespoke,
It’s written on his chiselled face but he’ll never give a clue,
He’s the architect’s secret and won’t reveal himself to you.

A reference or a symbol or maybe just a quirk,
Is there even a real reason for his Mona Lisa smirk?
A riddle to solve maybe, in the reason for his being,
But have you even noticed this Alpine man I’m seeing?

His brother sits up there too, perching way up high,
But still no one can quite detail the real reason why,
With their square cut hats and long, curly, flowing hair,
They sit there all year and down towards the pavement stare.

They look down at Mancunians as they rush to and from the station,
Admiring the town of Manchester from their place of elevation,
Two little men of secrecy; maybe Austrian or Swiss,
Perched up so high in Piccadilly, they’re so easy to miss.

Yet branches of juicy apples decorate their home,
Is this the clue, I wonder, into which, that I must zone,
But I know my stab into the dark will just bring disapproval
Was this once a manufacturer of Austrian apple strudel!

Maybe it was a fruit factory, a warehouse to store apples,
But still there is no historic proof and still my mind it grapples,
Questions abound of who… what, why, where and when,
Can anyone unearth the mystery of Manchester’s alpine men?

There’s no link with the building to their place of birth,
But there must be a valid reason at least to prove their worth,
To prove… once and for all, why the builder went to the trouble,
To set Alpine Al in stone so intricately and then to set his double.

But now I’ve done my research and there’s still nothing to say,
To explain why the rooftops are inhabited in this way,
But somebody must know the reason and I don’t care how silly,
I need an explanation for the roof top men of Piccadilly?

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
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