Winter Sowing

We’re Winter sowing now, we are, to reap in early Spring
For loved ones lost so sadly, in a disaster in Bethnal Green
All ages, creeds, religions died when going to the tube
a crowd of quickly walking legs as an air raid ensued

The station was unfinished, no centre rail was on the stairs
A lady fell at the bottom, carrying a baby and all her wares
One bulb was all they saw by so they just kept coming, you see
The stairs were dark and enclosed as shelters had to be

It was during the Second World War, 1939-45
East London was hit hard all through, survivors lucky to be alive
Proximity to the docks meant often bombs came raining down
But that fateful night in ’43 saw a disaster all it’s own

New guns in Viccy Park were fired the like of them never heard
Made people hurry to the shelters as they thought the sound was weird
“They must be bombs” said one “I fear you may be right,
let’s get downstairs sharpish then out of this dreadful night”

173 died in the crush, many more injured in body and mind
A civilian disaster upon this scale, you’d hardly be able to find
It was kept quiet, at the time, fear of enemy glee and boast
At last we can commemorate it, pay homage to those souls lost

If you go to Barmy Park, Roman Road entrance of the tube
You’ll see a near completed memorial and a seat that’s getting well used
It’s beautiful as it is but the top’s still awaiting delivery
It’s not so pretty, but very poignant, dry eyes won’t likely see

The shape is inverted steps, same size as where they died
With conicle holes, for all the dead, shining light down to to where we’ve cried
When it’s unveiled we’ll cry again but happy mixed with sad
To think it’s finally finished will make us mighty glad.

Please help us reach this achievable dream to finish it next year
and remember loved ones, tragically lost, people we held dear
For although it’s history now and some would say “forget it”
Family live on and we should heed the lessons that it taught.

(c) Anna Reid

http://www.stairwaytoheavenmemorial.org

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