Poem: #protest!

 



[Image Description: A black and white photo of a crowd of people marching down the street with phones, cardboard, and phones.]

Poem by Renee

Photo by Mohamed Elamine Msiouri from Pexels

#protest!

 

A press of bodies in

The late afternoon sun.

It’s June, London

More a moment than a place

Mary turns to a camera, smiles

Beneath her mask.

Someone is standing atop a car and laughing

Their doc martens are leaving

Dents all over the crumple zone.

 

Laura Kuenessberg* decides to make an appearance

The crowd hisses at her

In milkshake language**

In bit-u-men language

In you stole our language

(You right-wing twats)

Cardboard signs

Yell out abuse at people

Who probably deserve it

Like Boris Johnson and

Dominic Cummings*** and

Their Shitty (ex) Boyfriend and

All the tippex-toned bodies in the world.

They don’t know what they mean when they say it

They don't know what it means to be

Tipp(ex)ed, or tip-axed, or tip-extracted.

To them, it’s poetry: lathered in gold and cheap sentiment

So much that you can taste it

So much that you can (almost) sweat it.

 

There’s a gaggle of girls

Laughing on the corner of a street

Half-protesting, half-drinkingatteninthemorning

It’s London, 2020

More a movement than a moment

More a symbol than a summer

Their skin gleams

Angel-alabaster in the sunlight

They cling onto each other

Like the city is burning around them.

 

Perhaps it is.

And of all the people on this godforsaken plain

They would somehow be

Both the first and last to know.


 

NOTES:

*Laura Kuenessberg is the BBC's former political editor, generally disliked

**The reference to 'milkshake language' in the second stanza is based on the incident in Newcastle upon Tyne in May 2019 in which a man threw a milkshake at Nigel Farage, then leader of the Brexit Party, in protest of his policies.

***Dominic Cummings is Boris Johnson's former chief adviser who faced particular resentment after he broke lockdown rules to drive from London to Durham (264 miles) in late March/early April 2020 whilst displaying symptoms of COVID-19



Izzy Goldberg, or Renee (she/her), is a poet, writer, and literature fanatic who began storytelling before she knew how to write. She is currently in secondary school and runs the popular Instagram account @teen_writing_101, where you can find her writing advice, poetry, and bear witness to her ever-growing to-be-read pile.