Jim Conwell's parents were economic migrants from the rural west of Ireland and he was born, and has lived most of this life, in various parts of London. He has had poems published in various magazines including The Frogmore Papers, The High Window, The Interpreter's House, The Journal, The Lampeter Review and The Ogham Stone and has had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize.
One day when I was a kid at St. Agnes, we were all taken up to line the
Hendon Way. Each of us with a little union jack to wave when the Queen
Mother's car passed at its own convenience.
Our mostly English teachers didn't think it a bit strange to be giving mostly Irish kids union jacks to wave at the British Royalty.
I took my union jack home and soaked it in water so that its colours would run and fade. Let it know what it was like to lose definition, to know acute uncertainty.
Feelings as fresh now as they were when I held my flag still and did not wave.