Read Abby’s wonderful poem about when she went to London to pay her respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
We’ve linked to the dictionary definitions of certain words for you.
The sun comes up, a new day dawns,
The world beside a nation mourns,
A feeling wakes inside of me,
A place I feel I need to be,
Without a plan arranged at all,
I head towards the capital,
This thing I feel compelled to do,
I make my way to join the queue.
This act of spontaneity,
Is not what I’d consider ‘me’,
But something bigger is at play,
I didn’t want to miss this day,
So Southwark Park becomes my aim,
With thousands more who feel the same,
But Southwark Park comes into view,
As we are told they’ve closed the queue.
It’s overwhelmed and must subside,
I’ll wait nearby then, I decide,
I settle down, take in the scene
Of London as it’s never been,
A snake of people stretched for miles,
There’s laughter, cheering, joy and smiles,
And hours later I’m one who
Is lucky to now join this queue.
We start to talk to those nearby,
Of where we’re from, and when and why
We felt the need to go that day,
To very slowly make our way
5 miles down the River Thames,
And quickly strangers become friends,
As talking is the thing to do,
When you’re 12 hours in a queue.
The time goes by, we edge along,
A busker plays, we sing a song,
The stewards there have got our backs,
With blankets, kind words, drinks and snacks,
The mood is high, a distant cheer,
Another milestone drawing near,
A local offers up her loo,
To those who’re desperate in the queue.
And London gives us quite the treat,
As slowly we move street to street,
There’s Tower Bridge, St Paul’s to start,
And later on Tate Modern art,
Queen’s Walk is poignant, very fitting,
London Eye, some people sitting,
Any chance they can, they do,
To put their feet up from the queue.
We count the bridges up ahead,
‘There’s 7 more!’ one steward said,
And finally we’re near Big Ben,
We wonder if he’ll chime, but then
He silently shows midnight’s come,
Instead of chimes we hear a hum
Of ‘happy birthday’ coming through,
To someone standing in the queue.
The Covid wall memorial,
The end’s in sight, Westminster Hall,
We check ‘our people’ are okay,
The ones we’ve bonded with all day,
That family, those brothers, and
That daughter and her mother, and
The man on crutches made it through,
There’s not much longer in this queue.
And suddenly, we’re nearly there,
You feel a buzz is in the air,
Security and checks are done,
We’re at the door and one-by-one,
The reason why we’re there hits home,
Each person’s thoughts become their own,
There’s only one thing left to do,
We leave the bustle of the queue.
The overwhelming sense of awe,
Is nothing I have felt before,
A Queen, a leader, mother, wife,
Who 7 decades of her life
Gave service to her country and
Was dignified until the end.
Far from the queue, a place of calm,
I curtsy, nod, say ‘Thank you, Ma’am’.
Poem by Abby Croucher