When I wrote this poem at the beginning of May, I never dreamt that it would strike a chord in the hearts of so many people. I was astounded when I was asked to read it at the Rejoin March. It was an immense privilege to appear on stage alongside so many prestigious speakers, including my friend and hero, Steven Bray.
The whole day filled me with renewed hope. I feel that the tide is turning. I hope that the tide is turning. If anything, I mourn my country even more at the moment in these tumultuous times, when our government seems to care so little about the United Kingdom and its peoples. It does rub salt in our wounds daily and it does seem to be laughing in our face. Enough is Enough. Not only do we need to rejoin Europe for growth, if nothing else, but we also need a General Election to boot the Tories out! Keep holding these corrupt liars to account.
I want my country back, read by Nicola Tipton at the first National Rejoin March, 22 October 2022
I want my country back, the country they’ve taken away. Where has it gone … the tolerant, inclusive, diverse, creative, outward-looking, fair-minded, pre-Brexit one? Where is she now? I have lost her, the one I loved, was nurtured by, for so many, peaceful decades. She, that was part of Europe yet still her own self. Perhaps, I took her for granted. I didn’t mean to… I mourn her loss every day. My love is a stranger to me. She ignores me when I call her name. She does not heed or see me. I am invisible now. How can that be? How has this come to pass? I am a refugee in my own country… wandering, forsaken, lost in a land I no longer recognize. A land taken over by an alien power. Shouty, men and women, telling me what I want, telling me what the people want, telling me I need to move on. I cannot. My heart is broken. It does not heal so easily. I am grieving. We were together so many years … so very many years. I thought till death do us part. But they came and stole you away. Now they rape you before my eyes. Violate you daily. Rub salt in my wounds. You are bleeding. Your life is draining away. I cannot bear it. My tears fall and they laugh in my face. I miss you more than you will ever know. I want you back. I cannot watch. You’re drowning now beneath your waves. Pushed down when you break water and emerge for air. I will not bear it. I want you back. I cannot let you go. I want you back… and I will Fight!
First published in May 2022