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March against Time

We’re on the rewind, through an hourglass street, past the wasp-waist that is Arnisons, its windows dressed with brogues, outfits for gentlemen, 1950s corsetry. We’re marching backwards – don’t step on Baby Batman’s buggy, or a panting pug, front paws thrust through T-shirt sleeves, a protest vest,

Save our Cinema, we chorus in reverse. It sounds like the Russian of a peasant uprising in Middlegate, where Woolworth’s used to be. We fantail, wagged by pitchfork placards. Policemen grow younger by the Pick’n’Mix. (How did they beard the traffic? They wouldn’t deter Harpo Marx in a clapped-out pedal car.)

This is the Botox stuff of Soapboxes. Our MP eats his rallying cry and vies with Borat centre stage. Darth Vader loses steam, discards her megaphone. We part: pent vehicles recoil through our Red Sea: a bus-ful of shoppers pulsing back from Sandgate, a digger swallowing a hoot.

Posters for Harry Potter, Narnia, vital signs of the matinée within, a wardrobe peepshow, foyer lights left on: T-shirts, ink still wet, piled by the popcorn, one slogan fits all! Save, oh save, our Cinema. Advance/retreat, the tambour beat’s the same, flip the timer, call down sand and rain: fast forward, action, clapperboard. Take two.

Sue Kindon the poems


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