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A Poem for Christmas

Leontia Flynn

Christmas has come, like Cholera, to town.

Women are struggling in the overheated aisles

of shops, where a piece of music twists like tinsel

towards its end, spools round, then starts again.


At a cue the bars disgorge staff Christmas diners,

who turn to the wall, and, as one man, start to piss.

then move on to other bars, get confidential

on the subject of lost lives, John Peel, George Best…


Their toppled glass is the right toast for this city.

To this place of gangsters, double deals and crime rings

I must belong: I see how it likes to drive

if they can love it, men off one by one

with broken promises – then pauses – and seems to thrive

as words and buzzwords rush to fill the vacuum.


From New Welsh Review No 72 (Summer 2006)