by Jon Tait
If it wasn’t hung from the ceiling in a museum,
we’d paint Jeremy Corbyn’s face
on the red Lodge banner
alongside Keir Hardie and Nye Bevan.
We’re still going Forward with Socialism
and the colours never fade;
still red as the Manchester United shirt
that Bobby Charlton wore,
red as the light glinting through a schooner
of McEwan’s Export in the social club
or the flag that’s waved to a bull.
Red as a banner consigned to the silence
of safe corridors silent as libraries,
with walls adorned in paintings
of the brick colliery rows,
the whippets and pigeon duckets,
the leek shows and allotments,
and the men in flat caps
with bait bags on their shoulders,
the ghosts of a time now gone.
We are the bairns and the grandbairns
of the last of the pitmen
and we never forget.
We’re still seeing red.