Loitering, lingering more like, on the street
at the corner of his house. In his dry, tight skinned
amber stained fingers, a thin white roll-up.
No smoking now, even in his own house!
Like so much else for him, times have changed.
A tired well worn Trilby, shades his eyes,
from the early morning sun. Thin silver
Victorian whiskers cling to mottled skin,
red veined like an old discarded road map.
And grey flannels stop short of unpolished boots.
Just for that hot liquid liquorice hit, and
the rich smoke, such delight a second time;
which leaves him always thinking of the next one.
Contentment and dissatisfaction together.
Such pleasure, ‘a perfect mistress’ wrote Oscar.
He smiles gently, and winks. In those watery old
eyes you see sparkle, humour, imploring too. To stop,
stand a while, pass the time of day. remind him
of the simple pleasure of conversation. To share,
if even only for a moment the company of a stranger.
© Vincent Creelan 2009