The smallest pub in town
Affecting to charge tourist prices
Even though it’s largely locals inside.
I can forgive it that, just.
If I picked up a book in town, I’d plot up there for a pint.
In amongst the pictures of here in yesteryear
And the semi-decent jukebox, the small, wall-mounted telly.
Wood, and brass, the time-honoured criteria for ‘real’ pub decor.
So on this occasion I’d read my fill, had a drink or two and was ready for the off.
The trams were tempting, pulling up right across the road-but I was a roadman before it meant something else.
I set off, past the North Pier and the Metropole, with August skyline to my left humid and ominous away, yet still benevolent above.
I made it past Gynn Square and started to climb along the cliffs.
Gradually, no hands, pure footwork along the easy pathway, taking me higher.
Out to sea the horizon darkened as if swarming
I quickened my pace, aware of its trajectory.
I could see it out to sea now, the cascading sheets of rainfall,
And as Bispham came across the horizon the first flecks announced themselves.
I moved even quicker now, I knew I had one destination.
With a boom, it announced itself arrived, shouldering aside its own advance guard.
Redbank Road station, made it.
The downpour a tail end of mild fury from the Caribbean.
Passing through en route to Norway.
I stared out at the sleek black tarmac and heard the glide of tyres pass on indifferently.
Final furlong home,
The air-sweetened aftermath.
At a decade’s remove memorable
As I write these words.