A NIGHT AT THE PUB
Mario Lanza began to sing
And from a far corner of the crowded room,
Another Mario joined in.
Another and another,
Until the whole place rang
With song and laughter.
Then, in his far corner, Elvis stood,
Quietly singing of love and loss,
Singing of a real reality
Until, one by one, they all fell silent.
Even the drunks hushed their slurred words,
Listening to a song of loss and loneliness
So intense, life meant nothing.
The Bar was silent, breathless with memory
As Elvis sang, and when he was done,
Mario began again.
And beer was passed from Bar to drinker.
Someone ordered a cheeky Campari,
With bright red cherry and a paper umbrella.
Whoa! Hold the soda.
Night pressed against the Pub’s lit windows,
But no-one wanted to go,
To be swallowed by the darkness,
Wanted only to stay here in the mad brightness,
Listening to the singing,
Listening to the daft loons laughter,
Gulping Lager in the corner
And watch the girls swinging
On the tiny, tiny dance floor.
Dancing as if dancing could conquer
The songs they were hearing.
As if being young could conquer everything.
Strange to meet Mario and Elvis here,
Two bony young fellows singing to the drunk and to the sober,
Singing to drown or lighten the drinker’s sorrows.
© 2019 Gwen Grant