Day dawned on suburban Britain,
birds sang, sun streamed, traffic
sounded reassuring in the distance,
so it was early still.
In London, bells rang, St Clements,
as purveyors of oranges and lemons
set out their stalls.
Suburban girls were groomed,
bows tied, laces knotted, hats
fixed, handkerchiefs checked.
Eight a.m train left Lime Street,
girls ate filled rolls for breakfast,
without a care for lunch
and sat on their hats.
Approaching the capital, they listened
for faraway bells – maybe St. Martin's,
'I owe you five farthings'
An excited blue and grey crocodile
wound through Euston, until safely
contained within its bus.
Gentle, genteel northern girls visited
The Tower of London. Susan Borthwick
dropped her camera down a well.
A Beefeater fished it out, sodden,
handing it over with due ceremony.
On to Westminster Abbey,
several signed the Visitors' Book,
July 6th, 1969.
Then St Paul's Cathedral, 'designed,
not built by Sir Christopher Wren'
emphasised Miss Leach.
Ate glistening, fat sausages
in a café near Waterloo Bridge,
not all that far from the peels
of the bells of Shoreditch.
Many recalled 'Waterloo Sunset'
by The Kinks as another summer day
in London reached its close.
Suburban schoolgirls vowed
to return one day.
'When will that be?' asked the Bells
of Stepney; and as with all
that still lies ahead, uncharted and uncertain,
came the answer, 'I do not know'
said the Great Bell of Bow.
(comment on this poem)