Old Year rolls towards the edge:
all but cliff-tipped and crown-cropped,
he grizzles over sticky mince pies
and thrice cooked turkey,
downs a last guzzle of mulled liquor
and stuffs his pockets with fruit cake.
He will have none of party preparation -
“like celebrating my own execution”.
Instead, he catches up on old TV
plays Cluedo with the kids, who call him Mr Black,
and packs for emergencies:
no-one knows how it will happen this time.
Still, warm gloves, tin of family biscuits,
and swimming goggles,
he’s ready to put his legs in one elastic
and catapult himself into the next place.
If it turns out less than nice,
chances are, he won’t be there for long:
Years generally quit before outstaying their welcome.