'British', a Poem for London 2012 and Team GB

13/08/2012 14:20 | Updated 13 October 2012


This is
What it means to be British -
To take part in a race,
Hoping to win -
But expecting a last-place finish.
Yes, this is British -
To make it all the way to a tie-break
And then brick it.
We are the world's biggest optimists
Hidden inside the most hostile of cynics.
The glass in our crystal balls
Is overcast.

But maybe this has changed.
Maybe British now means -
British is -

Bradley Wiggins!
Hoy, Rutherford and Farah -
Jones, Murray, Ennis, Adams!
Maybe British is beating anyone - everyone -
Et cetera!...
Maybe -
We should calm down.
With the exception of these two weeks,
It's not every day that we'll win a world crown.
But I hope that this next image will always be British -
We throw that house party that anyone can visit,
With guests from far and wide
Bringing any number of different dishes:
And when we've eaten, we stand awkwardly against the wall,
Until our guests tug us, smiling, into the middle of the floor.