‘Teahouse on the Hill, Lincoln’ by Terry Quinn

Teahouse on the Hill, Lincoln

What with the excitement
of an extra scone
it completely slipped my mind
to tell you the waitress
had told me the décor
was changed in March

actually she said stripped
with a degree of enthusiasm
that would have the girls giggling
so it was lucky they weren’t there
when you found what you found
on the door of the cathedral
and can you imagine
trying to explain that snakes
don’t usually end up
where they ended up there

though it seems
from what you were saying
there’s a few where you work
that could shed a skin
and preferably yours
so don’t think I’m prying
but there must be times
when you feel like that chap
at the table by the window
pretending to read the menu
while his teapot’s untouched

and that’s what this is about
one of us stirring the other’s pot
adding milk and sugar
when the other doesn’t care
we’ve been there before
and now we’ve been here
and where we go next
goes with a hug from the other
not from those anacondas
squeezing the life out of you

and talking of them
just think of those masons
that twelfth century porn
cutting snakes into stone
well we won’t need chisels
but I think I can safely say
the result will be much the same
do you want that butter.
(from The Amen of Knowledge, Indigo Dreams Press 2013)
Terry Quinn lives in Preston where, after a career as a Medical Engineer in the NHS, he is now actively involved in the Preston Poets’ Society and local poetry events including the 2014 Picture a Poet Exhibition. He has two collections; away published in 2010 and The Amen of Knowledge published in 2013 as a result of winning the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. He was runner up in the 2014 BBC Poetry Proms Competition.