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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


I sit in a bar
with Miss Pinkie;
her son, who is a copper,
is getting the drinks.

She looks at me
and says:
we are just friends
if he asks
(as if I was going
to tell him
I was rogering his mother)
and don't talk politics
or say you write poetry.

I will be
the perfect gentleman,
I reply.

Her son comes
with the drinks:
a whiskey for his mother,
a beer for me
and a lemonade
for himself;
he sits down
and gazes at me.

So, Benedict,
what do you do
for a living?

I'm a nurse,
I work with your mum.

He looks at Miss Pinkie,
then at me.

What do you do?
I ask,
giving him
the Mr Innocence stare.

I'm a police officer;
aiming for C.I.D.

He sits upright
in the chair,
brushing a hand
over his dark hair.

What do you think
of the IRA?

Miss Pinkie stares at me
as if I'd let wind go in public.

They're a murderous lot,
he says;
you don't
support them
do you?

No, I don't support them;
I agree with their objectives,
but not their methods
of achieving
those objectives.

He looks at Miss Pinkie
and she looks at us both
as if she didn't know
who we were.

Both their objectives
and methods
are objectionable.

He takes a sip
of his lemonade
as if the very words
were distasteful
in his mouth;
I sip my beer;
his mother gulps
her whiskey.

What do you do
when you're not
being a nurse
and involved in
“leftist” politics?

I listen to music:
Wagner, Delius and Mahler,
and that crowd.

High-Brow stuff;
I like Johnny Mathis myself.

He wears a smug expression
and looks at his mother;
she looks at her glass.

What else do you do
apart from listening to music?
he asks.

I write poems
and read books.

You're not a queer
are you?

He stares at me
then looks
at his mother.

Would I be
with your mum
if I were?

Miss Pinkie looks at me;
her blue eyes
are large as a cow's.

What do you mean?
he says.

Another drink?
I say,
another lemonade?

He means,
Miss Pinkie says,
we're good friends,
and he's not
that way inclined.

He stares at me
with a hard glare,
but I don't mind.

Submitted: December 19, 2014

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