An awkward outing with a separated father is recalled – and lived again – in this delicate sonnet, finds Carol Rumens
Your afternoon pint; my Britvic pineapple juice;
a bag of prawn cocktail gaping in the middle.
The lounge at the Wig & Mitre was Daddy’s choice.
And then, at six, my taxi home; a cuddle
before I left you waving at the corner,
bound for my mother, our monthly weekend over.
And she would always seem a little warmer
Than when I’d left, and I’d be slightly colder.
How could I know what an alcoholic was?
The Wig & Mitre’s now Widow Cullen’s Well.
The snugs have been pulled out, the walls made bare;
but the place still has the same sweet, musty smell,
And I’m going in for a drink again because
I know I’ll find a part of us in there.