At the Buccaneer Pub, inside the walls of the old town,
drinking with ancients like myself,
pretending to be interested in rugby,
while they pretend to be interested in cricket,
but neither of us fakes their distrust of royals
(though it must be said that the man in the top hat and overalls,
feeding his bar stool-perched water spaniel some crisps and Guinness,
is a little less harsh than his mates;
he would allow them to take their own lives come the revolution).
Drifting from a woman behind me comes:
‘I already told you what I want but you didn’t want that!’
I turn to hear her man,
all country-tied up and jacketed with leather elbows,
red of face and spaniel-eyed, shout
‘Two more of the same, thank you, landlord’
and I wonder how long it will take before he notices
she’s been in the Ladies an awful long time
and that the pub has a back door.
‘Your round, convict lad,’ smiles Top Hat.
‘Besides, we’re much better entertainment.’