You see them on the fringes of every gathering,
Bored witless and fortifying themselves with half pints of strong larger and endless packets of crisps.
Although, sometimes, in the confessional sanctuary of the ladies’ loo,
You might hear one of them whisper,
Well, it could be worse.
He could be into football, and then it would be all that hanging around on the sidelines in the freezing cold,
Pretending to watch him play.
Oh, life can be excruciating for a poet’s girlfriend,
When some intimate moment is broadcast to a roomful of strangers at the top of his stentorian voice,
Or that lovingly detailed description of the mole at the top of her thigh thundered out at forty decibels.
But poets’ girlfriends don’t falter.
They just sigh and smile and, drinking down their strong beer,
Try not to look bored or terse,
For they are here, and for the long haul,
They are poets’ girlfriends,
For better or verse.