CATHEDRAL SQUARE; DAY AFTER “BREXIT”
The nation is divided,
but sitting here, in Cathedral Square,
jubilation is in the air.
Union Jacks held on high,
emblematic against the clear blue sky.
A stubble-faced, hardened drinker,
beer can in hand, rushes up to a man,
slaps him on the back. “Cheers, mate!
We got our effing country back!”
As one of those who lost this fight,
I am bemused; the nature of our plight
is not grasped here. Fuelled by beer,
by blinkered enmity, by fear
of invading cultures,
different colours, different races,
a frenzy of ignorance escalates.
An alien presence in this jostling square,
I am adrift, in a sea of sun-reddened faces.
I turn away, impatient to leave,
to look for a quieter place, to grieve.
The day after the fateful European Referendum of June 23’rd, I happened to be at Cathedral Square, in the centre of Peterborough, around lunchtime. Nothing unusual in that; I live in Peterborough, and walk through the square most days. As the day was fine and sunny, I quite fancied sitting on one of the benches there for a while, and taking in the sights. I soon realized that the unexpected result of the referendum had created ripples of excitement, running through the people around the square. The above poem is a fairly straightforward account of what I saw there, and my reactions to the events.