Background To My Life

A poem for the Diamond Jubilee by PAM AYRES

Dad took me to our local pub in 1953,
They had a television set, the first I’d ever see,
To watch a Coronation! I knew it sounded grand,
Although at six years old, the word was hard to understand.

But little kids like me, and others all around the world,
We saw the magic crown; we saw magnificence unfurled,
A brand new Queen created, the emergence and the birth,
And the Abbey seemed a place between the Heavens and the Earth.

Certain pictures linger when considering the reign,
Hauntingly in black and white, a platform and a train,
The saddest thing I ever saw, more sharp than any other,
Prince Charles. The little boy who had to shake hands with his mother.

I will stand up and be counted; I am for the monarchy,
And if they make mistakes, well they are frail like you and me,
I would not choose a president to posture and to preen,
Live in a republic? I would rather have the Queen.

A thousand boats are sailing, little ships among the large,
Close beside the splendour that bedecks the Royal Barge,
And as the pageant passes, I can see an image clear
Of the Royal Yacht Britannia; she should surely have been here.

I wish our Queen a genuinely joyful Jubilee,
Secure in the affection of the mute majority,
I hope she hears our voices as we thank her now as one,
Sixty years a Queen. A job immaculately done.

© Pam Ayres 2012

Photograph of Pam Ayres