Thursday, 11 December 2014

the ostentatious breast-feeder

Drinking in my local
last dullday afternoon
soft drizzle outside
nothing much happening
usual 21st c. sense of ennui

when the door burst open
and a woman danced in
spinning wheeling pirouetting 
across the floor 
up on to a table
scattering drinkers before her

eyes flashing devilment and untamed fire
the shimmer of her dress was scarlet, 
silver, purple, maybe green -
when we talked about it later 
none of us agreed -
and as the trumpets kicked in
with something latin 
I paused, mouth open
pint in hand.
Since when had we had a brass section
in the toilets?
What did this mean?

Then I saw the infant at her breast
and I understood
this was what Nigel 
had been rambling on about
the old soak.

Ostentatious? By god, he wasn’t joking.

As the music swelled to a crescendo
she sprang onto the bar
stamping her heels the length of it,
one arm held aloft, defiant
head thrown back in a piercing banshee scream
a howling wail that lifted the hair on my neck
and as the child suckled, contented,
and fireworks burst along the line of optics
and confetti cannon spewed
a blizzard of paper
into the room

I was on my feet 
with all the others
whooping cheering punching the air
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! HELL YEAH!!

That night 
I dreamed of gurgling babies
fat as Buddhas
and woke smiling.

Steve Pottinger

biog: Steve has gigged the length and breadth of the UK, in pubs and clubs, at poetry nights and festivals. But that doesn't really tell you anything.