Silent Night [a seasonal pome]

Silent Night

 

‘Don’t look at faces.

Don’t look at faces.

Look at Christmas lights.

Look at pavements glinting with gum.

Look anywhere, but not at faces,

faces stab you with darts of

rage, despair, envy, spite.

 

Don’t look at the faces.’

 

At ‘The Oaks’

the walls were decked  

with balloons, festive holly,

crepe festoons - no mistletoe though.

 

A yellow-flame gas-fire spread pale warmth.

A Santa automaton ‘ho yo hoed’.

The juke box was bust.

Someone coughed.

Nobody spoke.

 

Enter old man with white stick and natty fedora.

 

Someone asked someone else,

‘You seen Charlie’s new hat?’

‘Nah and neither has he. You geddit?’

 

Charlie drank a pint and shuffled for another.

All eyes followed his clumsy return

sharing sniggering glances as he sat

crushing the hat,

someone had hidden beneath his cushion,

flat.

 

Nobody laughed,

then someone laughed

and someone else joined in -  

forging fleeting jollity.

 

Someone spluttered,

‘That’s the best thing I’ve seen all year.’

 

Thirty silent minutes later

Charlie stood to leave,

fumbled for his fedora and

noting the chuckling

swore from his sullen darkness,

 

‘Where you hid my hat, you bastards?’

 

 

 

◄ the good old days?

Mordechai in Slogger, 1974 ►

Comments

Rick

Mon 13th Jan 2020 10:14

Thanks, Cynthia, I had no memory of this one until I checked it - it is a deeply cynical piece 😃

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 11th Jan 2020 14:40

I shall do my best to 'catch up'. God! you're GOOD!

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