In a distant pub
somewhere on the Emerald Isle
close by an iron clad factory
the brick walls crumble.
A day’s work of red dust gets caught
on roughhewn planks
Another beer is poured,
another polished handle pulled down
another glass is washed and hung
for tomorrow at opening time.
Lunch is washed down
amber relief pouring down parched throats
as they order tomorrow’s beer in advance
Paying with today’s sorrows,
the working men sit singly
at rickety tables.
One per two-top a weary hand cradles his mug
barely seeing the ceaseless movement as
another dirty rag scudders across the bar
and the ashtrays are emptied.
the same bangs shaken away from
the same weary face
The men leave, pulling on sloshy wellies
taking another plodding step
toward the factory
to finish out their days.