The New Inn

Was once a man’s domain –
bright white-washed walls,
dulled, flake-painted sign –
Buckley’s fine Welsh bitter.
Through the small brown door
a beer-splashed, yellowed bar,
smoke of ages hanging in the air.
Square tables busy with cribbage,
dominoes, shove ha’penny
and just one grey woman,
shrinking behind her Guinness.

That’s Arthur’s drinking companion,
John told me.  She’s my neighbour
a legend in the village, from the War.
Why?  I was surprised.  She’s so still,
doesn’t speak, moves only to drink.
Well, they tell me jeep-loads of GIs
came from the town to see her here.
She had a trick, standing on that table,
with the thick end of an empty bottle.
She then had sex with them all somewhere.
Yes, her and the Americans, we still talk of it.
I closed my eyes and am there as she
lifts her skirt, becomes Sheela Na Gig,
shouts… Look…  I am the glory!
Was beautiful, proud Inanna demanding
Who is to plough my wet field?

It was the only time I saw her.

© Anthony Fisher March 2010

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