6.Bar in San Miguel.
I know why you sit in your cups
As we arrive, foreign and hearty,
Flushed and alive from finishing our walk
Across the camino,
Through Balafia, San Lorenzo,
Ending close to the church on the hill
In San Miquel.
For I have seen your sons in the morning
When I go to fetch hot fresh croissants:
They are off to work in yesterday's clothes
Which carry yesterday's dirt,
Stopping only to buy panne and water
& 6 cans of Mahou.
I think, though, idly, that it would be good
To sit as you do
Inside the bar in San Miquel-
To drink first whisky and then red wine,
Reading El Pais
Coming out only and often
To smoke a cigarette or two:
Leisure,
Quiet,
History,
The simple life,
Hard but fair,
The land,
Sunday best,
Autumn fires,
Beans and meat,
Olives and lemons,
A dinner being cooked
In a thick walled home
By a wife with rheumatic fingers,
Small windows,
Whitewash,
Plastic chairs,
The Virgin Mother,
Dogs and chickens
Red earth, almonds.
My wife orders an 'aqua sin gas, por favor'
For me -I want fizzy
& the kids get-as a treat - cocao caliente;
We feel elated, refreshed-
For even at this time it is still hot
& the walk through the fields & woods,
Past the oranges and olives, the burst pomegranates,
The dogs on chains,
Has been long.
We want to laugh & wiggle & talk
As the sun, in its full glory,
Falls behind the bar
Noticed it seems
By us alone.
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