Sunday breakfast (a poem for Easter)

The only thing, sometimes, is to eat.
It takes the taste away. So
we tucked into the all-day breakfast,
eleven of us, lads together, if you like.

It takes a bloke to cope with misery.
Grumble, mumble, a bit of gallows
humour. Envying the bastard with the nous
to take the shekels and scarper.

A few wry remarks, too, about how hung
over we all were, or petrified. Talk
of a lost weekend. Just a week gone,
and it seemed we were the donkeys.

You have to laugh, though. Better than blubbing,
better than memories of running
in all directions, the cockerel’s echo,
that sunless afternoon. That wail.

And then, just as the fry-up was
getting our bellies moving,
in burst the girls. Mary, all smudged mascara
and tissues dropping from her sleeves,

gabbling about angels, strange
encounters in the garden, bright lights
and all. We sniggered at the way
James said, ‘now calm down, dears’,

ushered them to the kitchen, while
we swapped stories of good times, and
bad. Raised a glass, plus one for luck.
The sorrows wouldn’t drown. So we drifted

back to what we knew, caught fish,
collected taxes, grew threadbare,
part of the furniture, forgotten.
Thank God we didn’t listen to those women.