Thursday, 7 May 2015

Fire: VE Day 70th anniversary poem

Fire
Written for VE Day’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations

This was the day the nation exhaled,
Loosened up, unstiffened its lip.
Shook free its hair and
Shook its hips as
Bands played from balconies
Turning squares into dance floors,
Bottles hidden for special occasions,
Are sprung from secret stores.

Joy unrestrained, black bordered with relief,
Class and other differences set aside,
The postponed shudders of grief
Lost in the communal pride
Of celebration. The endorphin rush of
Finding the hot spot crush at
The Palace, the Circus, or Trafalgar Square.
The day we’d dared

Hope for but never mentioned
Finally, tangibly, here.
So in true British style,
We raised and sank many beers,
Called our darkest fears, liars.
So tonight, we light fires
A symbol of returning light
On the day when the black and white

Of war gave way to the fresh colours of peace.
The Bells of St Paul’s sang treble to tug horn bass.
Strangers kissed anyone in uniform
Full in the face.
An end to that stage of conflict,
A start of recovery from all the hits.
That day when even our future Queen
Danced the conga in the Ritz.

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