by Jake Murray24 Jun 2014
ROMEO'S MIDNIGHT CAFÉ
(New Year 2013)
Rain hurling down, revellers
in the streets. A man shouting obscenities
at his girlfriend, 'You slag! You slut!’;
Love poetry that charms; while she stands,
decked out in a black dress, holding
out her hand to him.
Hordes of people waiting
for a bus. Drunk men, staggering,
swaggering, struggling to look upright.
Girls huddled beneath umbrellas.
An argument about pineapple juice.
Someone shouting she was getting
married. And all this before the
year was barely in.
But you arranged this, Romeo's
midnight cafe, almost by accident,
an off-street paradise of wine and food
and wooden walls; all to ourselves,
select friends, rolling in from parts
of London scattered across the
map. Laughter and stories, catching
on missing days, missing years;
ghost stories, discussion; and
on the stroke of twelve, a toast
and singing 'Auld Lang Syne.'
No better way. No better blessing
for the turning year. New friendships,
strengthened bonds, and the smile
of generosity, spreading into the
streets, carried home in the night,
felt in the heart in the day.