In Which the Poet Throws a Party to Celebrate his Birthday only to Discover that Nobody Bothers to Show Up

Wearing my most daring
tank top, I arrived downstairs
fashionably late,
just before quarter to eight;

the invitations I’d sent out
ten days before
had clearly stated it started
at seven thirty-four.

I put on Russians by Sting.
It wasn’t long
until things
were in full swing.

As so often, on such occasions,
I made for the kitchen,
hanging out
with the Pringles,

who were delightful,
and twenty rather nonchalant
mushroom vol-au-vents.
Six skittish tins of Fosters

enticed me back
into the sitting room
to join in with the party games:
Hold the Parcel (forty-two minutes),

followed by a few rounds
of Musical Statues
(defeated each time
by a po-faced Victorian floor lamp),

and finally,
a game of Sardine,
in which I hid
inside the airing cupboard,

curling up
for three days
on an inexpertly-folded fitted sheet
until I found myself.

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