Julian Lass

On A Hot Day In Cyprus

My father on a hot day in Cyprus
Decides to enter an air-conditioned shop
He wants peach iced tea, in an icy can
So I get one too, though with less joy
And then outside, tall and strong, head flicked back
He drains it cold, in one draught in that signature way, large
Adam’s apple causing each gulp
To take in air so that the
Whole is a series of rhythmic swallows
Drenched in sheer bliss

This noisy explosion of oesophagal pleasure
Would trigger shuffling embarrassment in a
Contrary teenage son keen to spot difference
But today would be his 77th birthday
And it’s hot again in London
So I buy peach iced tea, cold
To gulp it down just like him.