the ostentatious breast-feeder

Drinking in my local
last dullday afternoon
soft drizzle outside
nothing much happening
usual 21st c. sense of ennui
when the door burst open
and a woman danced in
spinning wheeling pirouetting
across the floor
up on to a table
scattering drinkers before her
eyes flashing devilment and untamed fire
the shimmer of her dress was scarlet,
silver, purple, maybe green –
when we talked about it later
none of us agreed –
and as the trumpets kicked in
with something latin
I paused, mouth open
pint in hand.
Since when had we had a brass section
in the toilets?
What did this mean?
Then I saw the infant at her breast
and I understood
this was what Nigel
had been rambling on about
the old soak.
Ostentatious? By god, he wasn’t joking.
As the music swelled to a crescendo
she sprang onto the bar
stamping her heels the length of it,
one arm held aloft, defiant
head thrown back in a piercing banshee scream
a howling wail that lifted the hair on my neck
and as the child suckled, contented,
and fireworks burst along the line of optics
and confetti cannon spewed
a blizzard of paper
into the room
I was on my feet
with all the others
whooping cheering punching the air
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! HELL YEAH!!
That night
I dreamed of gurgling babies
fat as Buddhas
and woke smiling.


© Steve Pottinger

2 Responses

  1. Sue Lozynskyj

    I love this timely superlative celebration. Reminded me of The Queen of Sheba by Kathleen Jamie, but with more abandon.

    December 19, 2014 at 8:34 am

    • spot

      Thanks, Sue. And thanks for pointing me toward that wonderful poem by Kathleen. Great stuff.

      December 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm

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