Poetry

A couple of years ago I attended a very snobby soiree arranged by a friend and someone read out this poem, it stuck in my head and it has taken me a while to track it down as I could only remember a line here or there.

” At Lunchtime – A story of Love” – Roger McGough

When the bus stopped suddenly to avoid
damaging a mother and child in the road,
the young lady in the green hat sitting opposite
was thrown across me, and not being one to
miss an opportunity I started to make love
with all my body.

At first she resisted saying that it was too early in the morning

and too soon after breakfast and that anyway she found
me repulsive. But when I explained that
this being a nuclear age, the world was going
to end at lunchtime, she took off her green hat,
put her bus ticket in her pocket
and joined in the exercise.

The bus people, and there were many of them,
were shocked and surprised and amused and annoyed, but when the
word got around that the world was coming to an end at
lunchtime, they put their pride in their pockets with their bus tickets and
made love one with the other. And even the bus conductor,
being over, climbed into the cab and struck up some sort of
relationship with the driver.

That night, on the bus coming home,
we were all a little embarrassed, especially me and the young lady
in the green hat, and we all started to say in different ways how hasty
and foolish we had been. But then, always having been a bit of a lad,

I stood up and said it was a pity that the world didn’t nearly end every lunchtime

And that we could always pretend. And then it happened…….

Quick as a crash we all changed partners
and soon the bus was a quiver with white
moth ball bodies doing naughty things.

And the next day
And everyday
In every bus
In every street
In every town
In every country

people pretended that the world was coming
to an end at lunchtime. It still hasn’t
Although in a way it has.

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