KEEP AWAY FROM THE WATER
There is no scent of roses here
As there was in that quiet Cathedral.
No flowers at all.
Only the drunks hiccuping home, singing,
Keeping well away from the grey and hungry water
Hissing right up to the sea wall,
All frosted and glittering.
Bitter sleet whipping their cold faces,
Whitening their hair,
Whitening the streets around them,
As if spitefully denying any hope
Of warmth and peace to come.
For these men and women staggering
Down the frozen pavements,
Are reluctant to go home.
Reluctant to leave the world behind them.
Boozily loving each other,
Wanting to sing as loud as they can.
Singing without thinking,
Knowing the words of songs learnt in childhood,
Knowing that drunk or sober,
Life is for the living.
Just keep away from the water.
©2021 Gwen Grant