We’ve not had a chance to discuss our ailments yet

The old boys are having a beer.
Their tweed mate joins them.
Perfect timing, they laugh.
We’ve not a chance to discuss
our ailments yet. Care to kick us off?

He rolls his eyes, undoes his jacket,
sips the only red wine the pub sells
at the pace of a slow-motion replay.
He puts his glass on the table,
tuts at their question, and begins
to tell them how he’s been walking
a lot more lately. The old boys smile.
And your ailments? one asks.
Their mate pauses, picks up his glass,
and replies: The arse is a nightmare.

© Carl Burkitt 2023

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