Smoking indoors:  this practice dates the poem
before the ban, ‘though some
can just recall a foggy camaraderie
among bent stubs, and how the ash
clung to each glass, like first drafts or ideas. 

Wine:  freely available before this date,
without prescription, and from corner shops
alongside food.  Regarded then
as purely pleasure, despite evidence:
still measured out in bottles, red or white.

Free Verse:  a slogan, carried on The March
against its prohibition.  After this
all poetry was underground -  in cellars,
sewers, the remains of London’s trains  -
dealing in darkness, codes, and fear.

Poets’ Corner:  clustered memorials
in blistered stone, but not their books  (proscribed
by Act of Parliament).  Not rendered
into dust;  retained to prove
the care with which the State curates its past.

D. A. Prince

If you have any comments on this poem, D. A. Prince would be pleased to hear them.