We The People

Entry by: Hour of Writes

18th November 2016
Britain is great
Not because of a flag,
But because of the man who
got my suitcase down on the plane
without my asking, and quietly,
embarrassedly, moved it closer to me
Because he had noticed the stewardess
single me out for a hand luggage telling-
off in the queue.

Britain is great
Not because of a colour,
unless that colour is the green of
the fresh land, watered and wetted
and soaked and drenched until we all hide,
laughing together under umbrellas,
bus shelters, in pubs, cafes and shops.

Britain is great
Because Byrhtnoth, through ‘ofermod’
(an excess of heart or mind or pride)
let the Danes come over for a fair fight,
instead of slaughtering them where they stood
trapped; and went on to lose at Maldon
but at least we got salt from the wounds.

Britain is great
Because we understand nuance. This
is not black or white. It so much more.
Perhaps the nuances of the language
have trained our brains for this. Let’s
not lose it in Twitter. We recall our history,
our racial components, with every sentence
We utter.