The young Polish woman recently arrived
Is silhouetted in mid air against a golden halo of yellow flame
As she leaps from a burning building into the nations’ consciousness
Becoming a symbol of that Summer in the city;
She came here for work, to better herself
Now she has nothing. All gone in the flames of a burning town.
Mourning for a lost landmark,
As our powerless police stand and watch the looting and stealing
And bombing and burning, heads hung in shame;
And maybe pity;
We now stand watching as the skeleton of Reeves Corner
Pushes ghostly through the smoke of the ruins of an ancient shop
Nigh one hundred and fifty years a family business –
May it rise again.
Now still a stop
on the Tramlink of which Croydon is so proud;
This same Tramlink which brings unwanted guests to the end of the line;
To a large estate, often abandoned by the law
(Too many too poor;)
They have burned our one real shop – our Co-op is ablaze!
Not one cop in sight – so next night the public arms itself
Out they come, men and women, old and young, two hundred strong,
Stand shoulder to shoulder all night in the Market Square:
A people’s army say : ‘This place is MINE!
You shall not come again!
Woe betide all those who come with further bad intent!’
No rows, no violence, just neighbours standing proud and free
To show all-comers this is a Community
‘You shall not wreck it!’
Too late the police armed cars arrive now 40 strong
Too late mate.
The thugs have gone. And so too the convoy went.
Two images of Summer 20 11 remain
The helpless police force standing by
And a scared young girl compelled to learn to fly.