Five o’ clock at the Aibbutsfurd

(efter Arthur Rimbaud)

Ah’d trailed the length an the breadth o’ the toun
fir a day that felt like a week,
an a’ fir the sake o’ a frock.
Ma feet wir rid raw an ripped a’ tae shreds
           -  ah’d haed it tae here wi the heat -
when ah looked up a street tae the side,
an minded the Aibbutsfurd bar.
Ah went tae the till an ordered a roond
o’ weel-buttered rolls wi ham aff the bone,
an a pint o’ lager n’ lime.

Ah felt weel contentit, cantie an fine,
an ah took aff ma shoes an wiggled ma feet
(unner the table sae naebody coud see),
an ah looked at the rubbish graffiti:
See me. Ah’m Frankie. Come an get me.
Here’s ma number. Pure dead brilliant, ah am.
Aye that’ll be richt.  Ah ken the type,
aboot as much use on the nicht
as a teapot that’s made oot o’ chocolate.

It wis then that ah saw the waiter:
he came wi a bridie, fresh frae the stove
an silverskin onions as weel.
An ah liked the cut o’ his gib
an the sicht o his ticht wee dowp.
An he said, ma hen, can ah ask ye
d’ye support the Hearts or the Hibs?
An ah kent ah wis in,
an ah thocht o’ the taste
o’ the rays o’ the sun an a lager -
an the heat o’ the toun in the summer.


© Aileen Ballantyne 2009


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