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Bottles chimed like a clock on the doorstep.

By the ebbs and surges of daily pints

you knew who’d grown, who’d aged, who’d upped and left.

Your float’s low hum was the routine soundtrack

to Ready brek, wonky ties and dull dawns.


Undercut by another out-of-town,

you’ll be my generation’s pie-n-mash,

a tale suffered by countless grandchildren

while something else is also dying out

and patiently rehearsing for your role.



© Matthew Stewart, previously published in London Magazine and Inventing Truth

Picture 10098619, photograph by Tony Boxall, 1975, image copyright Mary Evans / Tony Boxall Collection



Matthew Stewart lives between West Sussex and Extremadura. He works in the Spanish wine trade and has published two pamphlets with HappenStance Press, both of which are sold out. His first full collection is due from Eyewear in 2017.