10th February, 2016 (After meeting my bro for a few pints)
by Brendan Strong
Avoid saying “Excuse me” by sidestepping the crowd as it goes –
Skip the pavement – like Michael Jackson in the Billie Jean video –
Bump-bumpbumpbump, Bump-bumpbumpbump –
The rhythm – the moves – the realisation that’s you
Bumping into two, for every one you manage to elude
No dancer. Not tiny either.
Head is a little light, stomach heavy.
Had a few pints last night (a few too many, maybe)
It’s nice to meet up after such a while – so much to
Catch up on, just keep talking, talking on, realizing
It’s later, and later, even after the lights flicker,
It’s still a surprise that technically it’s morning
“Time!”, so only a few hours until
A bus pulls up, and pulls off, taking on
The commuters (and you, sir).
Now, to find a coffee. I recommend Ronan’s
On Eden Quay. But it must be 6 feet away,
With a steady trail of dancers in the way,
Must frogger across: but must not go backwards
And must not stop (those are the city-walking rules).
Somehow I make it. Somehow I can engage
My brain and my mouth and I can say “A latte”
And again my brain triggers:
‘You know in Italy, only children drink lattes
Or they drink it for coffee in the afternoon’
I continue to do coffee wrong after twenty two years.
He says: “No spoon!”, to show he knows me,
(I don’t take sugar, so have no need)
This delights me, being known in anonymous
Dublin (and I know by now, this day will not be measured by me)
Stammer surprise, emphatic thanks,
While the woman spooning jam on a scone looks bemused.
Rejoin the early morning disco outside
To get to work, and the slow set of hours until home time.