I stand half-way, darting looks, searching,
beyond the crumbling barricade.
Across the carpeted way
(blood spilt drying by the day)
we nod in turn, ammunition bared.
The first shots cannon off chipped masonry,
reverberate, the fire-doors long-smashed,
to and fro and in our heads.
I must then run – and you behind –
above all cover, towards the bullets
as they melt away; to us they came
running and we now ready
Days spent looking
to end this dreadfully uncivilised exercise –
we stand both there now,
slowed to a halt in our tracks;
we brush the mirror aside, it moves,
slow, at first, but quickens, as the noise
We take steps forward, come into
this pure, barbaric light.
And there here the deafening roar
of tens of millions of faces;
angry, passive, confused, amused, and all
gazing up expectant.
We raise our hands, tentative,
risk a wave.