– Looking nice Michael, been somewhere special?
– Funeral. In the bloody rain.
Two pints of bitter, froth flat,
stand alongside the boozers,
as they then chat about the showers,
just passed, and bloody penguins.
One of them, not Michael,
has the look of Rupert Murdoch.
Pints are refilled, the urinal next –
it takes more visits these days.
– Michael, you dressed this well last time you was wed.. hahaha.
Ceiling beams, once chiselled
by equally beery men,
prop the roof of the bar
and threaten the non-stooped:
the timbers are black-slapped in gloss,
they ooze a shine like ships’ tar.
Old age brings advantages,
and shrinkages and breakages.
A handshake, another drinker,
greeting Michael, not Mike (too old,
not Mick, too straight)
all to the hubbub, ice-chink,
bandit complaint and clink
of glass and bar. Michael smiles.