Quiet Nation

Author: Barry Ahern

A snapshot of a quiet night out.

This silent shell of an almost empty pub
and in the corner, an old man in look of company.
He’s become a pro at drinking alone,
the art of slowness
as if in a state of perpetual waiting.

The walls glazed numb by neon light
proclaiming a republic of fun,
but the money in the eye
look of the publican blinks
“”I just want a quiet life””.

The “”Whats on tonight Guide”” is redundant
and I shield myself behind cheap tabloids,
avoiding musty conversations
by tearing up beer mats.

“”I was your age once””, the old man casts.
I acknowledge with a ripple of shivers down
my spine
preoccupied with my running out of money,
wish that a love at first sight
will walk in and take me away from all of this.

But the dead of night spanner
in the works of the quiet nation
it’s Monday,
the mother of all long weeks.