The Night Before Friday


A farewell drive to London
Between hedgerow and bluebell,
Butcher and baker shutting up shop,
Tables unfolding on village greens
Against the show-reel of the setting sun.

This is Blighty.
Brass bands and bunting,
Bright white, red and blue,
Flags and photographs,
Horse steps, pomp and practice
Rehearsed over and over in the midst of a young bride's mind.

With teacups in front of televisions,
With banners behind the barricades,
With front pages, special editions and eight page colour spreads,
We wait.

What is in the waiting?
One night and the rest of our lives,
Forget the routine we knew,
Celebrate a love so familiar,
A love so unknown.

The mystery unravelling into history,
Archives to be replayed,
A glimpse, a kiss and a wave from a balcony,
above a melee of calm and wonder,
hands gripped at the palace gate.

(Photo by


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