BellaOnline Literary Review
The Stairway by Debi Gardiner


Soggy Brew

J. Scott Shields

Sitting in an Oxford pub on a Sunday afternoon,
I sip my pint and watch the American couple
Saunter up to the bar and scan the generous array of
Local libations on tap. After a brief pause,
The husband slings his arm around his wifeís shoulder
And in a hearty voice orders up a familiar old standby:
Budweiser, the King of Beers.

No doubt that thin industrial swill has graced
A lifetimeís worth of ball games and barbeques for this fellow,
Just as it once filled my own parentsí refrigerator--adding a
Spark to my fatherís eye and a simmering rage to my motherís.
Yet here, amid these ancient walls and towering spires,
The blue and red script on the iconic white label is soundly
Usurped by the native porters and ales, and my heart echoes
The publicanís scorn as he hands the couple their bottles, unopened,
Before walking away to pull another patronís pint.

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Spring Equinox 2012 Table of Contents