January 23, 2011

I’ve got an old photo
in a camera
that has since deceased:
Police galloping
on white stallions
their tails tied up
in plastic bands
like the wiry necks
of old geese.
I’ve got an old photo
it only exists in my head
it’s the rainbow slide of a retina
like the oil on a puddle
or the afterglow
of a sunset.
They came on a Saturday
the council closed the city centre down
I remember the way the glass shattered
in the window of a pub
I remember the lines of fluorescent gowns.
I’ve got an old photo
of everyone running
and something thrown like a firework
I’ve got an old photo
of them fastening their helmets
and lowering their visors
and the clouds bunching
armouring the sun.
Were you the woman congratulating
the man with the skinhead.
Were you the skinhead trying to walk away
Were you the bald man
not a fascist, just a bald man
Were you one of us
or one of them
Were you the family
confined to the suburbs.
Were you walking in the centre
carved up with the cordons.
scared to watch
but couldn’t look away
The next day there were ribbons
yawning in the morning
gleaming in the rays.
I’ve got an old photo:
a window shattering
horses and visors
and green ribbons
running through the city
running in stitches
rivers of green
no scarlet
no carman
no ruby
There was a peace festival
in the square, just up from Sainsburys
I’ve got an old photo in a camera
that has since deceased
I left it in a taxi
somewhere off of Narborough Road
or Fosse Way
or somewhere further
out of the city.


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