Bittersweet, by Geraldine Cousins

This poem by Society member Geraldine Cousins was included in our 2018 selection, Folio #72

Mist and frosts in November
mean it's time to fetch a bottle of Guinness
with its signature of the first Dublin brewer

in red flourishes. The glass so dense it turns
the matt black label brown. Pouring ale
over fruits, peels and spices, smells

of roasted barley, breezy hops, take me back
to endless summers in my aunt's kitchen. Wrapped
in huge coloured towels we all huddled

shivering after the morning swim. Champ
and Lance thwack our wet legs with flanks
and tails. Uncle Wint, who always makes

things happen, makes things possible
insists everyone takes a glass of Guinness 'to
warm your cockles' he says.

Being youngest I'm let off after a couple of gulps.
Before I even wipe away my froth moustache
a glow of heat surges through my innards.

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