A Street Too Far

photo by Daan Spijer

An English toff is looking for a bar
 to have a jar before the day is done.
 In Little Lon’ he finds it none too swank;
 there is no bank nor ’stablishment of note.
 He’s come by boat and doesn’t have a clue
 what he should do now threat’ning night is near.
 So, out of fear, the first lit door he spies
 he turns and tries. He’s beckoned to a couch
 where three girls slouch, their dress décolleté –
 too much display for gentlemen like him.
 The light is dim, the air pungent with myrrh.
 He feels a stir, and thinks he should depart,
 when one sweet tart gets up and grabs his arm.
 She does have charm; he lets her lead the way.
 Perhaps he’ll stay to have a good night’s … rest.
 At her behest he shuffles down the hall.
 (Before a fall, men often feel immune
 from certain doom.) He lies down on the bed,
 his clothes all shed, his expectations high.
 He heaves a sigh. It doesn’t take her long
 to sing his song and soon he’s fast asleep.
 He slumbers deep and doesn’t hear the shark
 who in the dark with clothes and purse makes off.
 An English toff was looking for a bar –
 one street too far.

[Written in the style of C J Dennis, one of Australia’s foremost poets of 100 years ago]

[Awarded equal third in the C J Dennis Poetry Competition, October 2015; published in the C J Dennis Society anthology, October 2015]