Looking back

Gas and state thugs,
flapping bureaucrats on the fringe
the fences, walls and razor wire.

Yet streets of shops
and yards and homes,
conversations at open fires.

War’s scars and trauma
everywhere.
Darkness even in day’s light.

But also warmth, support
and covered backs
through its savage night on savage night.

A maze of brutal contradiction
Life’s best
and at once, its snarling worst.

For its rights,
its wrongs, its tragic necessity
Remember – a home for many it was, first.

photograph from the Daily Mirror

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