He stands at an entrance dressed in black
The guardian of a contemporary temple
where worshippers praise the god of alcohol
He’s been slogging through this for twenty years
no promotions ladder for him to climb
no pension, no gold watch or carriage clock
for his years of loyal service
He has had enough, getting to old for this
Drunken youngsters that can barely stand
challenging him to fight
easily placated by his practiced calmness
He waits every night
on the battlefield of a city street
the frontline of an alcohol fuelled war
and like any soldier
he has no idea when his time will come
each violent street side episode
feels like a step closer

In two weeks time he will leave
to labour on a building site
after witnessing his colleague
kicked to unconsciousness.