ONCE IN A BAR

London, Islington, Old Red Lion Theatre Pub

London, Islington, Old Red Lion Theatre Pub (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Woman of the world that I am (not)
I stride into an N1 bar, shopping bags in tow
Mainly to get out of the snow
And not wanting to be home, alone.

I am the only (coloured) person here,
In black (Laura Ashley) woollen coat
Trying to fit in with (new) tote
Yet at odds with the fashionistas.

They are gay, bald (and white) in gray turtlenecks
At least they ignore me,
One drops a wine glass, loudly;
Would there be a scene? I worry.

Outside it is thickly wet
Indoor it is steamy but hollow
The light casts a dull pallor
Over the male faces, turned yellow

Like my Boddington bitter (half)

Which I am drinking

While trying to wriggle sore feet out

elegantly from grimy (leather) boots, thinking:

 

Street London. Migrant London. Cheap Sale London. Pub London.
Why do I not belong?

I go about this lonely big city
Doing chores in dreamlike self-pity
Feeling always the lack of warmth
Striving ever to conform

But not.

© Millicent Danker
20 October 1999

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