This must be what it’s like to be a detective.
I sit in my car watching, listening.
I see the action in the bar
as if relayed on a TV screen.
A lean man with a comb-over
drinks yellow beer
and I think that I recognise
this late night drinker from a previous case.
The peroxide blonde barmaid comes into view:
the femme fatale who dreams of another life
wealth and fame, the usual cliches
that will one day
lead her into dramatic trouble
or just boredom
as age finally catches up with her.
A movement in the carpark distracts.
A young man with a lean body, agile as a monkey
swings through the shadows of the stables
from the old coach and horses days.
He wears a white feather in a felt trilby hat.
The door to the barroom opens
and two men walk out and light cigarettes.
One of the men is a tragedy of wasted talent.
Every night he drowns some unknown sorrow
in pints of ale and you don’t need to be Jim Rockford
to work out how his story will end.