The Biscuit Tin

by Rachel Fallon

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                                 As the sirens wailed
                                 And the bombs fell across the capital
                                 They hastily gouged out the precious gemstones
                                 And hid them deep beneath Windsor Castle

                                 Returned to their refuge within the soil of the earth
                                 As it was before hands pried them from the ground
                                 and decided upon their worth

                                 Glittering symbols of a powerful Empire
                                 Forced underground as the Nazi’s raids begin
                                 Removed; Sitting in the darkness
                                 Shielded within an old biscuit tin

                                 Above houses turn to rubble; mounds of stone; not precious or shiny
                                 Once treasured for providing a humble home; a cherished sanctuary

                                 Hiding below the surface
                                 The most priceless of all
                                 The souls that lay across the tracks on the underground floor

                                 Unthinkable today
                                 As I stand on the crowded platform
                                 To imagine people talking, smiling, huddling to keep warm
                                 I look out at the crowd of impatient faces, moving silently
                                 Eyes down, the threat of terror causing an uncurrent of anxiety

                                 The resilient citizens who endured the Blitz
                                 The people who pieced London back together
                                 Brick by brick
                                 Surviving on rations with barely enough to eat
                                 Deserving more than crumbs off royal seats

                                 Mind the gap.

                                 Between the rich and the poor
                                 A homeless man shivers outside a supermarket store
                                 The crown jewels possessively sealed behind bomb-proof glass
                                 Gazed upon by a conveyor-belt of tourists
                                 Not looking to the future; too attached to the past

                                 It’s important to remember
                                 The most precious treasure we share
                                 Is that we are Londoners
                                 United by our humanity
                                 Not a shiny hat that an old lady wears

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Rachel Fallon
is a playwright from Manchester who also enjoys experimenting with poetry.