Five-pound flags, whistles and banners

At first, we gathered

Wondering whether

We were only going to be a few



The numbers swelled.


At the start

We didn’t realise

Later on,

There would be no space to move;

A logjam beside the Cenotaph.



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,


and old.




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


And hand-drawn


Sticks and twigs and banners.


Most smiling

In groups


Quiet, 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



This was a bizarre show

Of national unity

At a time




A lone man stood


‘Let us leave’



walked past.


Outside the Wetherspoons

a group

Of men;

Only men,

Either bald

Or shaven heads

Shouting; I couldn’t hear.

And police standing


nothing that would or did happen.


It was also

Kind of fun

To meander

Trafalgar Square


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.




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?



I too

Would take

Packed lunch

So as to avoid


Sausage rolls

From M&S.


Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

One thought on “Five-pound flags, whistles and banners

  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.


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