Five-pound flags, whistles and banners

At first, we gathered

Wondering whether

We were only going to be a few

And

Then

The numbers swelled.

 

At the start

We didn’t realise

Later on,

There would be no space to move;

A logjam beside the Cenotaph.

 

Colours

And flags

And quiet good humour.

 

There was a man

Holding a sign about demographics

And the picture of a pig;

I spotted him from the start to the finish.

 

Shattered fragments

of conversation;

regional accents.

 

Family groups,

young

and old.

 

And

Even

The call, ‘Is there a doctor’

Sent us to find

A dizzy old man

Too thin and too tall,

Eating a biscuit.

 

Anne held his hand.

 

Papier Mache models and

Foam pointers

Home-made

And hand-drawn

Placards

Sticks and twigs and banners.

 

Most smiling

In groups

Others

Quiet, alone.

 

Alone

Amidst the million.

 

We passed

A monument to fallen animals

And I thought,

‘How British’

 

At first

I was reticent

With the drumbeat and

‘Bollocks to Brexit’

But soon

Joined-in

 

This was a bizarre show

Of national unity

At a time

Of

separation.

 

A lone man stood

With

‘Let us leave’

And

People

walked past.

 

Outside the Wetherspoons

a group

Of men;

Only men,

Either bald

Or shaven heads

Shouting; I couldn’t hear.

And police standing

defending

nothing that would or did happen.

 

It was also

Kind of fun

To meander

Trafalgar Square

Without

dodging taxis or cyclists –

as if

Sanity had overcome the capital.

 

Along the way,

People broke-off for tea

or lunch

or a pint

At expensive

Pall Mall

Cafes and restaurants;

Their banners

Folded neatly by their tables.

 

Occasionally, tourists

Would battle to move

In the opposite direction,

And I wondered,

What were they thinking;

‘An everyday event?’

 

Many packed lunches

Were eaten

And wrappers all placed

Precariously in overflowing bins

Or tucked neatly

Into backpacks and taken home.

 

By the end,

The BBC said tens of thousands,

The Independent a million.

Who knows?

It can’t be that hard to estimate.

 

Yet,

Numbers

And reckonings of figures

Has been a sore point of this whole spectacle.

Let us suffice with

‘a lot’

And rest assured

That there were many.

 

Would I do this again?

Yes,

Although

I too

Would take

Packed lunch

So as to avoid

dry

Sausage rolls

From M&S.

demonic.jpg

1 Comment

  1. An atmospheric evocation of a great coming together. Sense of the happy purposeful peaceful mass expression of will. So good that Anne was able to help the illl man.Always take a packed lunch !Very good graphics.

    Like

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