Irish Theme Bar, South Boston, St. Patrick’s Day by Simon Cockle

A shamrock sinks
through the albumen
head on a Bean Town

theme bar Guinness,
this St. Patrick’s day.
A flat-screen TV feeds

the Red Sox game,
six blocks from Fenway.
It’s the top of the ninth

and the short stop purrs
in the Catbird Seat; the bases
are loaded, it’s the 2-1 pitch…

a home run explodes
in a starless night
like a Zen firework. Then

in walks St.Patrick,
pockets full of snakes,
glad-handing the lawyers,

their coke-stained sleeves
sparkling like diamond
dust in the ultra-violet,

but he’s not here
for the craic. The crowd
go wild; there’s a verse

of Danny Boy but the Saint
just stands there, downs
that Guinness in one

and points his staff
at the TV; its screen shows
an altar with a neon cross,

an organ churns low
and the word ‘solemnity
appears for a second. Everything

goes green.  Then the game
returns. Patrick’s vanished;
a snake coils round a barstool

and sleeps.

Simon Cockle is a poet and writer from Hertfordshire. He writes as part of Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in iOTA, the London Progressive Journal and Pantheon Magazine, amongst others. He was invited to read at this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival as part of the Poetica Botanica event. He teaches English in a local comprehensive school, and has a wife and daughter who nod reassuringly when he reads them his poems.

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