I will not die in London

So much sadness so much life

I love London in late summer.

The trees in their dark green shimmer.

The dry smell of the underground.

The mix of people in the streets.

A vibrant pulse.

A city of unexpected connections.

I loved this city so many years ago, when the streets were much greyer, the buildings were running down from the Empire, the buses didn’t tell you where you went, and the underground was damp.

I loved it through the decades.

I went away and always returned.

Thinking it was my home.

That I could return to.

That I might lay my bones in one fine late summer day, on a day just like this.

But when I listen to the people in the street, the people who are this city. The people who look at the trees and say ‘ah, deepest green, late summer’. The people who ride the underground system that is trying to shake off its skin for a newer one. The people who speak many languages, and English, with all the accents of a continent, their English, their very own.

When I listen and smell and look I know.

It looks so strong. This is London. This. Is. London.

But I know. There will be only one more summer like this.

After all this, only one.

And then, we will have to go.

Go willingly — no. Nobody leaves those trees behind if not against their will.

But our rights to be here will be sucked out of us. Like damp shadows, they will leak from the soles of our shoes.

Until we have nowhere to go but away.

If we don’t comply, they will drag us out.

Leaving the damp traces of our London souls seeping deep into the pavement. The buses will slip on tear marks.

We will be gone.

London, as it is now, will be gone.

From us. We from London.

I will die in a foreign field. Or a foreign city.

Farewell London my fairest.

I loved you so much.

I am fiercely faithful.

But they brought the wild horses.