Country pub

 
 
Down country lanes shining with rain
To the pub, where all was bubbly laughter,
I bought my first pint of excellent ale
And turned to join the fray.

And then went quiet and watching
As my friends acted out their evening together.
I felt distant and observing
And not a participant.

Watching mouths opening and closing,
Private jokes at the expense of others,
And laughter that sat ill with
Self conscious eyes.

The elderly couple at their table
In the corner. Children of the sixties.
She glancing askance at our bad language.
Not such a rebel now.

The silent, strong man at the end of the bar.
Farm worker, alienated by middle class guffaws
And choosing to stay in his world.
A force field hanging between us.

Jocular barman, making his jokes
Straddling divides and hearing all
And saying nothing
That might offend.

A group of people together
In a small building surrounded by fields
In the dark and the rain
And not seeing each other.
Not even seeing themselves.
 
 

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