Last orders

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The first thing we had to clear was the one

he prized the most: the cluttered pinewood bar

he’d salvaged from a neighbour moving on

at the end of the nineteen seventies.

 

Embalmed in a gloopy coat of varnish

that set to a brittle sheen, it lacked retro chic,

scuffed down to the wood along its edges,

its surface crazed with memories.

 

In the days when family came to stay

it placed him centre stage, measuring out

precisely his perfect Irish coffees

or each medicinal dose of whiskey.

 

And yet, for all its high-stool bonhomie,

we dumped it, an eyesore for the viewers –

then missed a convenient shelf, sorting mail

that even now in his posthumous life

 

makes him offers he can’t refuse.

Behind it was a glory hole that clanked

to the music of jumbled glasses

and the unopened bottles of quare stuff

 

brought back from their hols by others –

when his own preference was Jameson’s,

Paddy’s, the rank poitín he cracked open

for me in a conspiratorial hush.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

◄ The Way Art Pepper Tells It

Le Petit Parisien, 1952 ►

Comments

Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 31st Jan 2017 04:23

Yes, a tender tribute.
(We lived just up the road from Jameson's original Midleton Brewery 2002/2003 and every morning the smell of the mash put a smile on my face.)
Saw a lot of echoes of my own Irish father in this poem...

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Paul Waring

Tue 3rd Jan 2017 10:29

Wonderfully well written and evocative David, I enjoyed reading this very much. Paul

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