We came up on the tube
by district line; we nearly missed our stop.
Jumped off at Earl’s Court and
running, we just caught
the Olympia branch train, a short hop.
It put me in mind
of the Blitz, the push and shove
onto the platforms;
the songs, the camaraderie,
worried glances at the roof;
fearing Hitler’s bombers above.
By the clasp of his hand
I knew my old man felt it more.
Recalling his mum, the mother in law I never had,
caught in a firebomb in ‘forty one
and he unable to grieve, injured himself.
There was after all, a war.
But I shake it off, put on a smile;
exchange nods and a peck on the cheek.
We’re at Olympia, just a step to the hall.
I’m looking forward to the Ideal Home,
laughing at the newfangled gizmos,
and inspiration, maybe, for a three-piece suite.
This exhibition’s huge, I’m tuckered out;
so many stands! And the cafeteria’s packed.
I walk more slowly now; a tea would perk me up.
I remember again the days I’ve spent near here
at the Albert Hall: I hear the voices at the Proms soar
as I wait for my hubby to come back.
79-year-old female civilian, died three weeks after an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded in a litter bin at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Kensington Olympia, London. A further 85 visitors were injured.