The People's Vote + Notre Dame

The People’s Vote to Remain in the European Union

Let it have no known leader, the campaign.
Let it be led by cool fresh water, clearer and sweeter,
follow the ringing out, we, across the tunnel walls to light,
backs straightened, blinking in the rain.

Let land lead it, green and brown, down to the grey of rock,
no borders known, remembering anciently
when the water joined all grounds, the primeval talk,
obverse of liquid fire. Slowly and patiently

lands grew closer, apart. Let dinosaurs lead it,
flying shadows cross gulfs in a breath.
Let us sacrifice the steer, hoist it up and bleed it,
ring garlands round, eyes rolling slowly towards death.

Look behind us, and call this the festival times
when bunting and flags fade, tacked to the bricks,
and let the children mock us in nursery rhymes,
swinging rough baskets made from the slender, green sticks,

remembering the day we snatched ourselves up -
and, shivering, turned away from the abyss.

Notre Dame

the view of splendid castles burning down
each lens proscenium for beating heart
that entered, tendrils carrying apart
the centuries of prayer, the golden crown

of edifice to heaven, built and burned
to symbols venerated and forgot
lost in the hush, a single line of thought
a blessing given, so seldom returned

the tourist and the refugee both saw
bright vision on cathedral steps of stone
packed like sardines together and alone
all tumbling into chaos ravening maw

the footsteps echoing in quiet halls
tell unsupported buttresses to fall.

Margaret Corvid is a writer, and activist based in the South West of the UK. She is a contributing editor of Salvage. She is a New Statesman blogger, and her writing has also appeared in the Guardian, and Cosmopolitan. She writes on sex work, sexuality, gender, and many other labour issues.