“When that old lady with the nice hats popped in during her silver jubly,
they took all of the children out of the government indoctrination camps
and made us line up along the embankment to wave.”
There were lines we were told never to cross in our black patent startrites, scuffing our toes along the grass’ edge, knocking pebbles off into the gutter with the couldn’t care less attitude of children of prosperity – never mind the shortages.
The electricity going off made some people nostalgic, not Mum, for her it was the end of days. We enjoyed bathing in the lukewarm water almost cold in the dark, not splashing, but pushing the body of the water, its shoulder blades, so that it rocked from one day to another like a shout across a field or a prison yard
and our home, our country shrunk by candlelight till all it was was mumdadjohnme at the kitchen table, at the table kitchen our faces actually flickering in the wispy flame so that we seemed to change from one second to the next and it was impossible to recall if there was a queen at all, what she was queen of if she was coming to visit if she could wave her way through the pooled darkness to where her subjects waited, our 4mouths and the mouths of our many countrymen, open , empty O between GD then g o b , the u of k, the b of i
Thank you she’d say in a voice LIKE THE 1930S DANCE Art DECO communism rag, so brittle like brief encounter cup of tea, conversation, conversation never get to bed.
When we curtsied before her, all us eager peasants it was evident how all the classes were and how they didn’t fit and didn’t want to in a china cabinet with glass doors that someone might light up with small fairy lights in a ironic fashion # retro
And I want to take a swing at it with my rounders bat, at all its brittle collectible shelf life the past, the tatty bloody past, your faded bloody face, your majesty on china cracked like the old skin of queens time immemorial,
Who rules Britannia, I said who rules Britannia?
Illustration Nick Victor