Drunk On A Train

He staggered
from the bistro
and at a glance
he looked for all the world
the usual sort of drunk
who guzzled down
a lot of bottled beer

But though his shirt
was crumpled
his tie was very straight
and so I wasn't sure

Toppling on a tightrope
of feigned sobriety
he veered down
where sandwiched
between the baits and jibes
this tired old goat
belched forth at ease
his malted breaths
dangling in the awkward air

Before they closed
in his besotted eyes
I thought I glimpsed
a tragedy
and
wondered
if his wife had died

by Philippa Lane

Other poems of LANE (45)

Comments (7)

I like this, compassionate and a surprise ending.
Wonderfully observed and very rhythmic - and that last line is so powerful in its simplicity. Hugs Anna xxx
...observation at its very best
Dear Philippa, And yes, I know that man, and he was me, and yes, my wife had just died, that is true. Very strong poem-what is behind someone we think of as the usual sort of drunk. so many stories, and I stand at the edge of this one, and wipe away tears. Phillip
This is good too. Nothing I've read of yours so far is at all trivial or inconsequential. Your timing is good, too.
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