A sign on the street pointed
Left, Oxford Street and Marylebone Station
Right, Regent's Park and Baker Street
Straight ahead, Edgware Road and Paddington
That same Paddington
That cute little bear with his cute little suitcase P.B.
Edgware? Edgware? Oh yes!
That Lord who dies in a Hercule Poirot novel.
Always with the air of mystery.
That one with the 221B
Each of the mysteries, here unfailing unravelled
That fateful meeting place
Pongo and Perdita and their soon to be brood of dal(mation) puppies
(and Roger and Anita, an essential footnote)
Speaking of which
That thing Dumbledore has an upside down scar of
On a tangent from there
Being ten minutes from King's Cross
The magic of being between dimensions
From this world to another
That one, the Monopoly Square
Green Square? Red Square?
Selfridges and Harrods and all the fancy things
This city was not built in a day
this city was built brick by brick
over the years of my childhood
Taking its wondrous and wonderful (mis)shape
carefully constructed by my imagination
This city was not built of cement and mortar
it stands on a foundation of dreams
expertly architectured and landscaped by words pictures and so many of those moving pictures
'Assimilated' they now say to me as I walk the streets sans maps
A 'Londoner' even
I do not know if belonging means taking for granted
so often failing to appreciate this mythical town forged by the fantasies of my youth
It makes me feel older
far beyond my years this walk
this purposeful striding shoulder to shoulder
with the suited booted coated real adults
(En route to the palace under that Ben, the Big one
The same chambers brought to life by Jeffrey's Archer's caricatures)
Navigating through the camera happy throngs of visitors
That used to be me.
And now this life is my platform 9 and 3/4
Living between dimensions
in the city of imagination