the world according to mitchell & kenyon

none of these people are still alive / says the voiceover guy / as crowds of flickering people drift by / not one / not the kids in jackets and flat hats / or the moustachioed gents smoking pipes at the back / not the copper arresting the restive horse / not the horse, of course / or any of those bonneted babies in perambulators / or the Hope-sashed Temperance League agitators / not any of the heaving masses / waving and waving as the camera passes / not the acrobat in the striped apparel / who leaps feet first into a barrel / or the school kids in lines doing tucks and rolls / or the women twirling their parasols / or the soldier with a chest full of medals / or the old guy labouring on the pedals / of the latest Edwardian tricycle / or any of the hundreds of other bicycles / keeping pace with the overcrowded tram / not the post office boy with the telegram / or the factory owner taking the note / with a penny from his overcoat / not the smallest boy in the boys brigade / trooping down the high street on parade / a wooden rifle sloped on his shoulder / copying the company commander / not the woman with the black umbrella / in mourning for poor Queen Victoria / or the boy at the gate in line for a job / who sneers and sticks two fingers up / nor any of the three young women in flowery hats / who walk slowly past and then quickly back / all gone and done / and time moved on / turning at a steady camera handle’s pace / and the people paid a shilling to take their place / in the tent they set up on the village green / to show the miracle of the moving picture machine / just a shilling, to see themselves as others see them / ghosts, in a national film museum

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