The pint pots slosh from hand to hand,
Heads wavy full of hum and whir.
You need two hands to grip one true,
And yet your fingers fail to touch.
Inside, it’s like the night before,
A foamy mist, a firm hearth warmth,
The Tudor joists above a raging fire,
And brass that glimmers in its light.
You swallow down your share of liquid pride,
A hearty stranger thumps your back and laughs.
Beware, he’ll lamp you if you spill what’s his,
And fertilize the shoes and stubs beneath.
A throng of drinkers raise their hands and point,
Some get their girl to go ahead and bawl
Until the last bell rings, provokes a scrum
For taxis. In the frost, some huddle close,
Some fight, some kiss, some hope. They all will flee
The night afire as they light up their cigs.