I wrote the first line of this poem many years ago and came back to it recently. I have lived in Walthamstow for many years and love the sense of community and diversity which exists in the borough. The last year has certainly shown me that 'fellowship is life' and what brings us together is so much greater than what divides us. This poem for me is about the plurality of identity and in many ways how we craft that identity by the experiences we seek out, the choices we make and the stories we share.

Truth is the fiction
we write for ourselves.

Memories like dreams
are unfaithful.
Strained, sifted, selected,
edited with each recall.

We are what we choose to remember.
we are what we choose to forget.

We are more than an origin,
a title or trajectory.
More than a language
to dress our thoughts.

We are plural,
the shores and cities
which harbour our hopes,
the land which breaks our fall.

We are the silence which
sleeps between us,
or the laughter which
clears the way.

We are the tracks,
the paths we stumble onto
the chances forged or dashed.

The music or the passion,
the refuge found in books.
The fellowship, the kinship,
the look we understood.

We are the family that we fight for,
the loyalty earned or lost.
We are the food which calls
our history,
all the colours of our past.

We are the promises kept and broken
or the secrets that we bear.
We are a story formed in telling.
We are the stories that we share.

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