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The Empire Club

12 May 1969

Burnished wood-bright copper stands
Surrounded me and Mary when
I played her the accordion.

Down the gravelled, snaking drive,
We'd parked the car and walked across
Into my club: 'It's not a dive.'

Past some tables, rows of backs,
To our table by the wall:
'Sit down Mary, please relax.'

I drank a gin, she Bacardi;
I ate my food and some of hers;
Her appetite, if large, was tardy.

An age-old song from Sicily:
I played the toon to lilt her heart.
She only looked, quite quizzically.

The waiters there all knew me well -
Playing songs at supper time.
At other tables near to mine
Eyebrows rose and never fell.

When she'd eaten, looking wan,
She asked the waiter for the tab,
Requesting him to fetch a cab:
'A lovely evening - goodnight John.'

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