WORLD SERVICE/BOOK DAY

The scattered kids of rural Kent

hop from foot to foot down lanes:

hanging heads over bridges

to throw Pooh sticks into babbling brooks.


A mayor drives to a Polish border town

with bags of teddy bears.


The afternoon sun is soft

against the rainbow ribbons

of her homemade princess dress.


Pink unicorn pyjamas turn a violent rose red.


A shop-bought Hermione clutches a catkin wand

and watches shadows stop

at the edge of apple orchards.


Polina, a pink-haired school girl, flees Kyiv

in a black leather jacket and a Harry Potter top.


Mirabelle’s tears are dried

on toilet paper:

grit picked from her graze


The mayor clears his throat over the airwaves

and broadcasts a message to the dads of Ukraine:


We will keep your children safe.

We will keep your children safe.


and magic sweets are promised

from the nearest petrol station.


Photo by Kostiantyn Stupak from Pexels

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