London in 1927.
So familiar, so far away.
Crowds of people
dressed for pride,
caught in the frozen moment
of an ordinary day.
Buses glide through the streets
elegantly curved and painted.
They are in no hurry.
A man sits straight backed on the top deck
open to the winds across the river,
wearing a bowler hat.
A mother in a dark coat shows her son
the new monument to the glorious dead.
He is still in short trousers
and he needs to know.
She holds his hand tightly.
This is what they did for you.
This is what your dad did.
Two bright young things,
best friends in cloche hats
and daring short thin skirts,
walk in step through Hyde park.
A chance to breathe, to think,
and tell each other secrets.
A little girl with blonde curls,
stands stiffly in her best dress.
She keeps quite still in front of Peter Pan,
just as she was told,
because she believes in fairies,
until she gets fed up and walks away
Into the rest of her life.
A single woman in a market
chock full of flat caps.
straightens her own hat
when she sees the camera.
She isn’t cooking dinner,
she is looking for her future
and she thinks that it may be here.
A policeman walks out
on serious business.
He is proud of himself,
and proud of his status
as the single member of the force
chosen to make his way alone
across the centre of the shot.
So many ordinary people,
living through an ordinary day.
A day which has now become extraordinary
as we look back at a different world.
A world full of people like us,
doing things that we do,
seizing their moment in the sun.
Just a breath away.