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Haworth Hodgkinson

Haworth Hodgkinson

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Late Night Reel

Haworth Hodgkinson


Old bloke staggers along the street
avoiding such obstacles as lamp-posts.
Reaches for the pub door — misses the handle.
A kindly passer-by lends a hand.
The pub's just closing — the barmaid's cashing up
but she lets him take a bottle for the road.
Takes a swig and staggers back along the street
avoiding such obstacles as walls.
Bright lights draw him to the late-night take-away.
Staggers out, two cartons in a bag.
Pauses on a bench — begins to unwrap supper
but then, food in one hand, drink in the other,
makes a last-ditch effort — staggers on.

It's an old old story — you've heard it all before.
Perhaps he'll make it home,
and if he doesn't, maybe nobody will know.
It's an old old story — thirty years from now
it might be mine.


Written 1994
Revised 2007

Published in A Weakness for Mermaids, 2007
(Koo Press)

A Weakness for Mermaids

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