A Breath Behind The Man Ahead
We're only just a breath behind the man ahead;
we could reach out and touch him if we wanted
but it's the intimacy that we English dread,
a sense of loss of self with which we're haunted.
Why can't we kiss each other on the cheek
like continental types? Are we so blinded
by need to know someone more than a week
to greet, as we're not European minded?
A simple handshake is what we like best,
not such unseemly friendly hugs and kisses,
but, deep inside, are we not like the rest?
Is close companionship something we miss? Is
this the truth: We English aren't reserved
at all? It's just a myth that's been preserved.