Poems of the Week

A U-Turn On A V-Sign

by Mike Mesterton-Gibbons

“A rainbow mural of seven Winston Churchills wearing stockings and suspenders
which prompted a complaint… because of the wartime prime minister’s
trademark V-sign is to be allowed to remain in place.”
The Guardian

As every schoolchild knows, or must suppose,
Up yours!” is not what Churchill’s V-sign meant,
Though painting him in underpants and hose
Unwisely welcomes priggish discontent!
Resolved that Winston’s mural was too rude,
Naff Brighton Council ordered: “Overpaint—
Obscenity in public shan’t be viewed!” …
No trousers on, did that cause this complaint? …
All in the nick of time, the truth came out:
Vast ignorance of Churchill’s time prevailed.
Some councillors, in law, may have some clout.
In history, abysmally, all failed! …
Go see the mural as it was before—
No longer rude, its V means “won this war!”