Husbandry, or, London Pubs You Should Try · Janet Bowdan

While she goes to her eye appointments
three days a week, each with a different specialist
and one of them the specialist she’s been waiting
for six weeks to see who’s supposed to show her
how to use the new lens. Though “see” is not
accurate, and “show” probably also a misnomer.
He’s bringing her to Moorfields, since it’s hard to get to
and around London when everything beyond your nose
is a blur, and then when he’s seen her to the specialist
of the day, he’s got his book of London pubs to try,
looked up Youngs pubs near Moorfields, sorted out
The Artillery Arms, The Angel, the Harp, The Barley Mow,
The Earl of Essex ("a good pub that we went to whilst
waiting for a table at another pub" the review goes),
The Counting House, all within a quite reasonable distance,
mapped it out, the delightful anticipation of one new pub
per day, the only rub being the chance that he might
really approve of the first or second, because if
it becomes a favourite, a pub to return to, he'll miss the fun
of trying the next on the schedule, and only so many
appointments. But perhaps he can escort her to the pub
after she’s seen the specialist (or the specialist
has seen her) and she can have a half-pint of something
half-bitter bought by the husband she vaguely
remembers as being tall and handsome.


Janet Bowdan's poems have appeared in APR, A Poet’s Siddur, Hobartpulp and elsewhere. She teaches at Western New England University and lives in Northampton with her husband and son. Her chapbook, Making Progress (Finishing Line, 2018), has a cool cover drawn by one of her lovely stepdaughters.