There’s a framed picture of Frank Sinatra
frowning at a toddler
nailed wonkily to the wall
above a knackered juke box
playing Babyshambles on repeat.
The 70s wallpaper has chunks missing
and I can see at least three rusty pipes
behind the Japanese gins and American ales.
The exposed brick is crying damp.
Tripled cooked chips are sitting
in the middle of greasy upside down hats,
beetroot ketchup is dripping through the gaps.
There ain’t a smile in the gaff
and everyone feels at home.
© Carl Burkitt 2021