There I was, propped up in bed, a thousand thoughts forming
in the holiday of my head, mask off, headphones on, YouTube,
streaming, dreaming, coming to terms with a recently-deceased aunt
who had trouble breathing. Yes I loved her so, she helped me find sense
in the mess of teenage years, she gave me shelter from the helter
and the skelter of life’s tests, used to tell me: follow your dreams.
Loved her, loved her so, even though she voted Leave.
She’ll never know I’m that close to needing a visa to attend her funeral
in ruled Britannia, God save the Titanic, and all who sink with her.
On the bed was where I met them, mask off, headphones on,
finding sense in a present tense, correct, this is why, this is why
you never see your father cry. Council flats and country piles,
apartments in France – renewed my passport before it turned the blue
they want to make us feel, and act and march in their same shoes.
This is why, this is why, my heart swells with pride, not theirs but mine.
Idles your Colossus is a bridge between my republic and my septic isle,
septic minds, this is why, I point to freedom which is mine,
which is yours, which is ours, it’s called sharing, and it rhymes with caring.
Gone past caring? Don’t give up. Don’t stay down. Get back up.
There I was, propped up on the bed, time for a tea and something on bread.
And there they were, my family, watching The Voice on French TV,
Happily yabbering away in French, and me, in English, bemoaning the lack
of decent tea bags, and the way in which no matter how hard you always work
you’re still broke by the end of the month. Back and forth in two languages,
add Frenglish, Brummie accents, mais, ne t’inquiète pas, pas de problème,
je parle français, oui, avec un accent merdique, c’est pour ça,
c’est pour ça, mon clavier est AZERTY et pas QWERTY.
And this is why, this is why, I love myself and always try
to send the love and give the light, to cry when I like and fight the good fight.
Your tee-shirt, it said: Voltaire. I noticed you wearing it the other day,
got me thinking it did, that tee-shirt, and slogans in general,
Choose Life, Frankie Says, Make Love Not War, #MeToo #Remain, Idles on Tour.
Fudge-packing Crack-smoking Satan-worshipping motherfucker Nirvana,
that I wore on my back in days when my aunty wasn’t a Brexiter.
Wouldn’t mind now: Fairy Remoaning Snowflake Traitor Enemy of the People…
see their faces when I tell them I don’t like barriers, and I dream in European.
Poem by the editor. Thanks to Idles.