They were two northern middle aged ladies - their business was widely admired,
they catered to paint-splattered workmen and professionals smartly attired.
Their living was made in the sandwich trade with a hearty traditional fayre
and often I’d drop in their takeaway shop to be served by the welcoming pair.
I, to my shame, couldn’t tell you their names – it never came up in our chat
but they looked like a Pauline and Linda…or maybe a Julie and Pat.
Whatever you wanted was quickly prepared – they’d make it right there on the spot -
proper or French? butter or spread? and do you want beetroot or not?
And often the times I would brightly awaken
to the thought of their freshly fried sausage and bacon,
from hangover cures to wintery chills
this breakfast-time treat was a cure for all ills.
A whiff of that heavenly bacon aroma
could raise a man up from a critical coma.
For freshly made sandwiches none could compare
and as far as I knew they would always be there.
But then an unspeakable crime was committed!
the shutters went down and the shop was refitted.
So now two trim and trendy chaps
sell spicy, pricey vegan wraps.
Nothing meaty, white or plain
just zesty things in cellophane,
free of nasty allergens,
sourced from happy Africans
and sold with sanctimonious pride
to folks who’ve parked their bike outside.
And I thought about Pauline or Julie or Pat,
on benefits now in their council flat
reflecting how they’ve bravely faced
the testing times and changing taste,
despondent that they’d lost their jobs
to two beardy top-knotted middle class knobs.
But that is that. And now they’re gone.
And I accept the world moves on.
Except…. I heard a different tale
about the ladies’ sudden sale.
Someone said they’d rolled the dice
and sold the shop for a healthy price,
they’d seen which way the wind blowing
and judged the time was ripe for going.
They wished the new boys best of luck
but knew that few would eat that muck.
They opted then for somewhere warm
and buggered off to Benidorm.
Oh Pauline / Linda / Julie / Pat,
how I wish that That was That.
But sometimes on a winters morn
whilst trudging through the freezing dawn,
my nose will lead me to that place
to seek some drifting, ghostly trace
of sizzling bacon unsurpassed
and satisfying breakfasts past.
Oh how could you abandon me
for money, leisure, sun and sea?
Unless I up and move to Spain
I’ll never taste the like again.
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