My last Message to Claire Grove

IMG_2436My friend Claire Grove died.  Before she died her husband Pete asked us to send her written accounts of our day to day lives.   This is the last one I never sent.  I found it on dec 21st.  I uploaded it to  Dec 3rd.      “Well. Claire I’ve just got  home from Zurich. I knew I was getting home home when  I heard a police siren. Ahh Dalston.  Plus a traffic Jam. Ahh Hackney.   I guess these states an sounds are  the equivalent of church bells in Cambridge and sheep on the byways of Devon.    The man sat across from me said “Oh Shit” and left the bus.   I decided to walk home. And as I passed under the bridge by Hackney Central  I saw the source of the traffic jam.  A policeman was stood behind a  black man sitting in the middle of the road.  The policeman was gripping his face. I took a picture.

The young black man was a cyclist and the policeman was holding his head in case of spine injury.  An ambulance man cut away his jumper. No blood. No bruises. Just three men caring for a young cyclist in the centre of the busiest intersection in Hackney.     The contrast of of the policeman’s white  hands upon this black mans face burned into my mind.   It was the most caring picture. It felt like a painting.  Like one of those were comrades look after a wounded soldier



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