Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No Footsteps in Aldgate

I remember the day
that the city boys walked
down Mile End Road in a stream from the centre

the sky was orange
with their suit jackets draped
swathes of Saville Row hung from their shoulders

even the birdsong fell on mute ears
serenity that I knew had never existed
in seven years of London living

nobody spoke
not one. From the thousands of people
who crossed on my street

eyes peeled forward,
in unison, bound
cinder soot covering fingers and frowns

to Stratford’s industrial
wasteland marsh
- no public transport that day in July.

and on that morning
that my boss made me stay
in a fish tank office on the edge of Brick Lane

as streets were cleared
and sirens raged hard
blue and white tape blew in the breeze

the thing that hit me
was the silence.

Adelle Stripe

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