As she continues to document life in lockdown, this week Mayflower 400 Young City Laureate Holly Peters reflects on the celebrations and commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and how lockdown changed our approach.

VE Day

WE’D HAVE ENJOYED A BREAK FROM THE FAST PACE –

A pause –
An anticipated day off,
A day away from computers and lectures,
Stretching weekend

What would we have been doing a year ago?

NOT THIS YEAR THOUGH.

Neighbours sit in their fragment of garden,
Shouting over the steady thrum of music,
The farthest edge, camp chairs set out in a line

MAYBE A WALK ON THE HOE, CONES OF SALTED CHIPS

Walking along the coast, fresh breeze on our necks.
In and out, weaving through crowds,
Grumbling when shoulders graze shoulders.
Flick on the news for a moment, whirled around the world.
A minute of silence to remember, reflect…
Reality resumed. On with the rest of the day.

SHIFTING CHANGES, NEW PIECES FOUND.

Making it into another puzzle,
Different pictures. Heart and hope.
We recognise the strength, the spirit.
Our own struggle, remembering theirs.
The trees still growing. The greenest of greens.

TIME WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SPENT HANGING FLAGS FROM WINDOWS.

Bunting roped along fences, rippling and dancing,
Only to be taken down tomorrow.
Another chore. Another task.
Cupcakes in cases of red, white and blue: a nice thought,
Never baked into existence.
Racing to catch up with the what we missed,
Corners cut,
Back when the world was turning that little bit faster.

Words and photography by Holly Peters.

This entry is a collaborative commission by Plymouth Culture and Literature Works. It has been reproduced from the original, posted here.