Category Archives: Poems

Sign My Name in Pain ~ I’m Not Ready to Kneel

Every year something went, a sport or a task
Then one year I seemed to lose most that I’d ask
I thought it was menopause, a weird old game
But it was MS’s ugly head making me lame

My writing was stylish and I did it for fun
My walking often turned itself to a run
But now I walk badly, it’s more of a drag
With the crutches I use, no more carrying a bag

I’ve just signed a letter I’ve printed today
No writing them fully, I note with dismay
It’s wonky and painful I doubt it’ll pass
It’s upsetting but I try not to give an arse!

My writing is painful and not even good
I struggle with knife and fork and my food
I’m stubborn which keeps me going in part
But it’s not enough just to have a lion in my heart

I’m left crying and feeling I want out of here
But know that that feeling is based in the fear
Of what used to be but now is no more
And I have to admit, I’m a loser that’s sore

I work on acceptance and dignity in trial
But it conflicts with stubbornnes, it isn’t denial
I accept that it’s happening, it’s all just too real
For this old baggage to happily deal

If I calmly accept I seize up where I stand
But if I swear and cajole I can at least land
In a place where I laugh and cry…but I feel.
I’m not giving up…I’m not ready to kneel.

(c) Anna Reid

Christmas 1943

’twas the day before Christmas and not even the robin,

with it’s beautiful song, could drown out the sobbing

of so many people who’d lost family that year

World War Two took many who were held so dear

* * *

One disaster took loads at once without warning

as they made their way to be safe ’til the morning

The stairs where they queued were wet and dark

when new guns were heard firing in Vicky Park

* * *

No-one knew if they were ours or theirs

so they hurried their pace to get down those stairs

A lady with baby and bundle, she fell

causing others to fall in that fated stairwell.

* * *

One hundred, seventy-three the death toll was

plus lots more injured, the reason because…

No centre rail, those guns or the gerry’s?

That lady who fell or because of so many?

* * *

There is no answer, it was ‘one of those things’

Rumours tell of thefts of stuff, even rings

Who knows the reality, there’s not many left

But we know for sure, many were left bereft.

* * *

The tragedy was kept secret by those in high power

not wanting enemy propaganda our reputation to sour

So it was kept ‘hush hush’ ~ the order of the day

Everyone kept ‘mum’ but now I must say….

* * *

WE YELL FROM THE ROOFTOPS, MY GT.NAN WOULD BE PROUD,

WE TELL EVERYONE NOW, WE SHOUT IT OUT LOUD

TO REDRESS THAT WRONG AND REMEMBER THEM ALL

NIGHT NIGHT MY DARLINGS, SLEEP WELL, MISS YOU ALL.

© Anna Reid

Written about the Bethnal Green disaster on the 3rd of March 1943 in which my gt.nan was killed. You can read more at http://www.stairwaytoheavenmemorial.org Donations always welcomed  to help with maintenance. The memorial was finished in early 2018.

BG memorial 2018