Waking Up with Phillip Larkin


My nightly piss-ups
were only getting started
as yours stumbled to perfection

and we're unalike in other ways: as I wake
with a billion other men
suddenly shivering beneath my fear,

my ordinariness,
as the room hardens with the light,
I stare not at the wardrobe

but a wall, I'm in my forties,
married, find I like most kids,
have never voted Tory,

can take or leave tinned food,
refuse to own a gearless car, but,
more important

I cannot curb my optimistic bent,
can't help noticing
all the good bits that being dead will bring, bits

which you kept overlooking;
no more hangovers, no needles sharpened
in the workshop in your mind, no cholesterol,

no bills, no road rage, no queuing
in the bread shop or the bank,
no hour-old Maccas burgers,

no unruly veins, just rest, rest, and nuzzling
the moist black honeycomb
kept hidden underground.


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