The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square,
Was always an iconic Meeting place.
It has now become a famously empty space.
Where once, for one hundred days
2,400 people enacted thousands of one- hour plays.
When merely sitting brooding in a chair,
Revealed an unacknowledged truth about our national mood,
Identified with the lonely figure, set up there,
Staring down into the thronging square.
Some danced in spangles, or made themselves spectacular,
Or launched their body into a flowing song.
Or gravely played the cello, or rocked along.
Or stood up to protest the potent truth
With banners and tee-shirts and placards…
Or testified to the power of silent prayer.
Freed balloons carried away a freight of names,
As streams of bubbles, sparkling in the air...
Some came with gifts, and some came
To voice their loss, to offer their despair.
Each hour of the day brought a different tale.
Diffident proposals, birthdays, memorials, jokes.
Those in the shadow hours, illuminated from below,
Caught on the internet, briefly peopled our dreams.
A sense of something invincible carried on through the night
Into the coming dawn,
Which because it was unattended was heroic and amazing,
And perhaps forlorn.
What was it?
A shared feast of beautiful, impossible hopes and schemes,
This vision we shared, with two thousand and four hundred themes...