The Pig & Butcher

Friday lunchtime, slumped, re-arrives,
a shuffle of septuagenarians departs
as I place my pint, and my backside,
at a mat-free table in the lounge bar:

Two regulars take on slack scampi,
and one more pint for the road;
the barmaid’s sweet pull is too great,
so they stall, longer, the return to work,

and I sit, supping at the old familiarity,
that which Wetherspoons cannot fake,
also poorly replicated in English Pubs
in New York, and pop-up Asian cities:

You cannot make these spills and stains,
the rough wearing, long-worn by the repeat
of orders, of rounds, of social patterns:
They will never decode this pub’s DNA.