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The Shadows of my Dream

By: Eileen Gbagbo

About The Poem

This poem was inspired by my travelling to Central London from Barking. I tried to capture the difference I saw from my borough to another borough as well as the beginning stages of gentrification in Barking.

The Poem

I grew up in the shadows of my dream
Wandering through my cobbled streets
Concrete playgrounds in the foreground
and a looming view of high-rise apartment blocks

I see Nikes, Doc Martens and sandals
I see briefcases, suits and pearls
I see one pound for fruit, one pound for profit,
And one pound is survival

I grew up in the shadows of my dream
There’s a sign about global warming
Plastered over posters of festivals
and a looming view of London’s skyline

I see faces now.
I see aunties, uncles and strangers
I see imposters strutting on the Central Line
Prosthetics imposing.

To grow up in the shadow of your dreams
Is an exercise of radical imagination
I sing no victim’s song
But I command regeneration.

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