Give it a minute

Tim takes his time walking over to his two mates –
salt and pepper beards, cue ball heads, thinning
jumpers – with appropriate caution in each
of his steps while his fingers clutch three pints
of ale in an amber triangle. He daren’t look up.
You know what, Tim?
What’s that?
You could be a barman.
You think?
If it weren’t for all that paint on your hands,
dirty bugger
. The laughter clinks
like a trough of empty bottles clattering
into a glass recycling bin. The air softens
as the dregs of previous pints are downed.
How’s Debs coping, Tim?
Better. Thanks for asking.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

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