Poem: Waterloo

The marks my family left
On the city where I was born
Are clear to me still:
Passing Butler’s Wharf along is history intact,

While on my mother’s side
Walking through Waterloo Station
I think of my uncle, labouring,
Joking with the rest of the men

But if a British brickie dared to call him Paddy
He’d stand firm, refined, work gear bedamned,
And calmly correct:

My name
is Patrick.

His resolve and pride remains within those walls and tunnels
That his son and I have passed through so often,
And I remember him each time –

He’d be proud of us both too, I feel.

London, 25 November 2022


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