A Man and His Dog
Your gift – tied with a bow, still
unopened beneath the tree; only
a bottle of Port, but a vintage,
I think; not that I know much
of that sort of thing.
Bought a Nordman Pine this year;
its needles, dropping already.
Don’t know why I bothered.
No one to see it, but me. Each year,
tell myself I’ll get artificial...
Your glass of mulled wine
grows cold, as does mine...
and the candle weeps wax tears
on my best linen cloth. Couldn’t
give a damn though; the only
thing matters; you never showed.
I’m not even fazed the Xmas pudding
I made will go untouched...Can’t stand
the stuff yet you can’t get enough!
Or the hassle to make a Yorkshire
so it rose to greet you at half-past one…
when you’d always drop by.
Just a card would have been nice,
but I’ve still got last year’s
in the drawer somewhere. Yes –
here it is; a man and his dog.
I’ll pop it back down
on the mantelpiece.
The fire’s gone out, it’s turned cold
in here; felt a draught like someone
walked across my grave. Reading
too many ghost stories, probably.
Say, maybe, I’ll open that Port; just
a sip. Can’t see it go to waste.
Could keep it till next season,
but chance would be a fine thing,
so...here’s to you, and absent friends,
and Auld Lang Syne, of course.