She was wearing Stella McCartney
I was drinking Stella Artois
A long, exhausting week
a long, exhausting day
rather than go straight home to dinnermaking and the evening news
a glass of beer and a vague unthinking pause at the corner bar seems just the thing.
(maybe Prince Charming will be lifting a golden brew of his own)
These french small town bars
they're alright now they've banned smoking and you can breathe
they're good for an aperitif, a kir, a cloudy Ricard, a glass of mysterious porto
but they suck for beer.
All lagers, thin as piss
not an ale or a stout in sight.
no body, no bite, it's summertime beer, this.
a fermented species of iced tea, or soda,
not anything to hold you when the cutting wind is full of ice.
but it'll do, has to.
The people here are working-class
they're meeting the guys before trundling home to their wives and kids and bills.
one or two have been here all day,
nothing better to do than keep the barkeep company.
And then she comes in.
not exactly with a saunter, but a particular walk
like she's mistaking Clermont-Ferrand for Paris, le quartier le plus chic.
What on earth is she wearing
All the guys turn and look,
like they've never seen such a creature before.
She looks back at their crumpled jackets and worn out shoes,
at their working hands and rough haircuts,
like she's never seen such creatures before either.
Then she pulls out her phone
a tiny, bejewelled marvel,
and calls a taxi, to whisk her away from this strange planet she has landed on by accident.
Somebody must have made a mistake.
We turn back to our evening beers, and the racing results, and the lottery ticket dispenser,
not much wondering what we're doing here ourselves.