The Laughter of Citizens

 
 
 
I sat on a bench
In Clerkenwell Green
Outside The Crown
Which banned me
For singing a song
Once upon a time
When their jolly tables
Filled the Square
With city workers
Drinking off the stress
In a divinely appointed sun-trap
Now it was only me
On one of the civic benches
Two wooden planks
Across rock-solid wrought-iron
Peak Victorian legs
Me and my Costa cup
Of supermarket grigio
And my addictive paper
The Daily Propaganda
Administered to the plebs
By the sneering billionaires
Whose whores run the show
The political TV panto
We love to hate
Yet gobble off our plate
Like the anxious humble dogs
Of an unstoppable fate
I observed a swollen-necked
Male pidgeon romance his girl
I wondered if he’d make it?
In all my years of pidgeon-watching
I’d never been exposed to dove-porn
She flew off and he followed determinedly
I remained alone with the papered lies
Until two lads frolicked past
One shouting ernestly;
‘I want to know!’
I repeated the phrase;
‘I want to know!’
In an Eastenders parody accent
They laughed
I said I was working
For the aliens and needed
To find everything out
They laughed and stopped
It turned out the young lad
Wanted to kill his sister’s
Fiance who was winding him up
His main defence
For such extreme action
Was his sister had taken off
Her engagement ring
They were cooped up
In some unideal covid bubble
They had drunk vodka
The fiance threatened the brother
Who aswell as his sister’s honour in mind
Had violence coursing through him
His older friend
His mentor really
The nearest thing he had to a Dad
Had councelled wisdom
‘Walk away!’
But the young hothead was angry
As only young men can be…
Having listened to him
Blow off his cabin-fever madness
I told him to walk away
He’d mentioned he had a young kid
He was starting his own life
Don’t let him wind you up
Don’t let him drag you down
The hardest thing for a man
Is to walk away….
I told him he had a friend
In the older one with him
Told him to listen to his advice
We shared a smoke and a drink
And laughed about the aliens
I would now report to
About the great human question!
They solved my loneliness
And my purposlessness
And I helped the older man
Get through to his protege
That he was best to walk away
Best think of his little girl
And be a real man
Rather than succumb
To lockdown pressure
And be a victim of the lockdown
By trying to be ‘hard’
It was a lovely transaction
The laughter and firm encouragement
The ponced rollie
Happily given
The fist-bump farewells
Me spying for the aliens…
The laughter of citizens
On a lockdown street at sunset…
 
 
 
 
 
 

Roddy McDevitt

 

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