Fancy Dress

21 years ago on December 31
in a B&B room in St. Ives
(a gentle but chilling rain
misting the window) 
just up from the seafront
where (as every year)
the whole town in fancy dress
swarmed through the streets
dancing and drinking beer
disregarding the chilling rain
but which we in our improvised
fancy dress found too chilling
and so climbed the stairs
to the upper floor of the B&B
our room under the eaves
and watched the telly
waiting for midnight

And maybe (who knows?)
the Y2K bug 
would bite
at midnight
(computer years
having only 2 digits)
so at midnight
clocks would stop 
fall out of the sky
and it would be 
1900 again.

But midnight came 
and the fireworks blazed
and it was 2000 
which we called the millennium
though it wasn't
(that would be next year)
but we didn't care
we were in a hurry 
for the year
for the century
for the millennium 
to be over 
we'd had enough
of the last 1000 years
we were ready for something

That was 21 years ago. 
There are many people
(more all the time) for whom
the previous 1000 years 
are history.

And what is history 
if not something to forget?

And maybe that's the answer. 
Maybe there are just 
too many of us
who still remember those
1000 years
and won't let them
sink away into the sea
of history
who are still parading around
in fancy dress
pretending to be what
we no longer are 
and 21 years into the new millenium
still think it's 1900.