A SHORTCUT HOME
There is no scent of roses here
As there was in that quiet Cathedral,
No flowers at all.
Only the drunks hiccupping home, singing,
Laughing at the grey and hungry water
Hissing right up to the sea wall,
All frosted and glittering.
Bitter sleet whips their cold faces,
Whitens their hair,
Whitens the streets around them,
Warning of a coldness that could kill them.
But these men and women staggering
Down the frozen pavements
Are reluctant to go home,
Reluctant to leave the fun,
Laughing at this little bit of wild ocean,
Dancing in and out of the sizzling spray
Of wild waves and grasping water.
Drunks boozily loving each other,
Singing without thinking,
Knowing the words of songs learnt in childhood.
Not seeing that the creeping white horses
Hushing up the slippery pavements
Are out to get them, fling them on their backs
And gallop away with no-one noticing.
Drunk or sober, life is for the living.
Just keep away from the water.
© 2020 Gwen Grant