Friday, 6 December 2013

The government pronounces on the death of Nelson Mandela

At the corner, on the road,
we were there in, maybe, 1985.
First date, but you stuck with me.
‘No platform for racists’ on a banner.

Things changed, but not to do with us.
At the gate, some smart, smug type
in evening dress ... It was easy
to see which side we were on.
Traffic lights went green, amber, red.
The market at the end of a lane.

Blustering epitaphs sweep down.
In this end, the only possible conclusion:
the speeches which miss it,

the opportunistic empathy.

Tom Phillips 2013

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