Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Not just by watching V for Vendetta
But by naming inns after Guy Fawkes,
Like 25 High Petergate in
The birthplace of the gunpowder plot conspirator
In 1570, thirty-six years to execution—
Hung, drawn and quartered
In 1606, the thirty-first of January—
Would the rest of the world know his name
If it wasn’t for Alan Moore
And his comic book hero with the Guy Fawkes mask?
Even the atheist in me can appreciate
High ceilings and stained-glass windows
And enviable architectural skills
In an ancient cathedral;
The cosmopolitan in me appreciates the brochures
In French, German, Japanese, Chinese,
Italian, Finnish, Russian—
And not shy away from diversity;
Quit whining about having to dial 1 for English
And expand your worldview to include
The rest of the globe.
This is the most claustrophobic tea house
I have ever shared a table with four people in.
We are as cramped for space as
Let’s move in close like we’re in a group hug
But we’re really claiming space like armrests on an airplane.
Moving our feet a quarter of an inch
Counts as playing footsie.
Lucky our laps have room for our teacups
When the sandwiches arrive.
Call us the knights they managed to squeeze into
The Round Table.
What have I learned today?
When public restrooms don't work,
They are out of action, not out of order.
And of course, admission to them isn't free,
But then again, what is?