Saturday, 16 July 2016

My Father-in-Law, the Marxist

 When I was a boy, my father had told me:
‘Take a woman by the waist and a bottle by the neck’
He knew about this because he was a builder
And furthermore … a builder from Penge

My first Sunday lunch with my future in-laws
They lifted their glasses so I did the same
The booming Shostakovich (or someone) surrounded the five of us
Then my father-in-law told me to hold my glass by the stem
Otherwise only four of the five glasses would clink
I was the only one who couldn’t sing in Russian
I was the only one not holding the stem

Standing outside in the semi-detached air
The swelling in my gut subsided and I rolled a cigarette
After a meal … the best time to have one
I think it was Marx who said ‘you don’t strike a match on butter’
I inhaled smoke and stared at the house across the road
And then it hit me …
Take a woman to the opera and a glass by the stem
My father-in-law knew about this because he was a Marxist
Albeit a Marxist from Penge


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