A London poem, kind of, by Britta Benson

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I’m in London with my son again. Same procedure as every year… He’s sixteen now. I looked back at the poem I wrote last year, upon our arrival. Here’s an edited version of it.

A London Poem, kind of

Early morning coffee with my son. Victoria, 
and a long chat, staring out of windows,
watching busy commuters with our tired eyes.
The scene keeps changing as the words spill out.
He lets me have a glimpse of his universe,
just like that, without me even asking.
I observe the capital and the pit of all souls, 
through the lens of a fifteen year old boy. 
The city has changed beyond recognition. 
We don’t chase pigeons on Trafalgar Square
any more, like we used to do, instead, 
we stir the froth of our hot lattes, worlds go by,
and we enjoy the kind of easy conversation 
that can only be unearthed after eight solid hours 
stuck like limpets, one on one, on the nightbus. 
Sip by sip, my heart arrives in a precious now.
I see my teenage son for the first time, clearly,
in the flickering fluorescence of a coffee shop dawn.
It’s raining. It’s beautiful. It’s London’s gift to me.

Reading those lines from pretty exactly a year ago, I felt happy. We had a great day together, doing not that much, just spending time together. Sitting, chatting, drinking coffee.

Last year’s poem still fits. Two minor updates: my son is sixteen now and it’s not raining. Other than that… same magic. We view London from coffee shop level, in amongst all sorts of difference.

This year, I’ll be shorter. I’ll turn the scene into a haiku.

London. Coffee shop.

My son’s soul spills into froth.

Eyes on the road. Joy.

Let’s see where tomorrow will take us…

8 thoughts on “A London poem, kind of, by Britta Benson

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