Saturday Night at ‘The Cry’

Criterion

Each drum beat’s like a lemon wedge in tonic
spritzing our ears in four-four rhythm;
cymbals like exploding sleigh bells
as AC/DC, aggressively ubiquitous,
blares on inside the country pub.
Meanwhile the till slams home
like a smacked bum as patrons stare
up at the rugby, broadcast in full HD
so hyperreal you can almost touch
the hairy shins and kicked-up grass tufts
and blood. The rain outside persists
like rice on the bonnet of a Ford Falcon,
like BB pellets machine-fired at sheet metal,
like all of our paths through life: beaten.
Ah but there’s grace, still. Mouths stretched
in a smile or grimace, teeth like portions
of PK chewing gum, ordering
another rum like embalming fluid
to keep the night eternally young.
But as yeasty sediment descends
and pockets are completely dredged,
a dishcloth is wrung from a frothed warm bucket
of disinfectant and the bar girl smears the counter
smooth whilst clearing her husky voice to yell:
“Last drinks! Last drinks!”

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