The Real Meeting Poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The Real Meeting.

We sat in a circle fourteen of us,

pointing knees at each other, drinking

coffee and trying to look relaxed.

Sweaty palms discretely dried on

trousers leg

One of the six women in the group

began talking – women are better at

airing their feelings than men- she

went on, a great length, about a life

of endless cocktail parties around

a swimming pool, posh wine in

expensive restaurant, of which I knew

nothing; fiddled with a lighter,

a sign on the wall read NO SMOKING.

Then the other five spoke in turn,

they all seem to have sprung from

the same glamorous background.

Ten minutes left when the chair asked

if any of the men had anything to say,

we mumbled something about feeling

fine; a short prayer, meeting over and

could go outside lit a fag and the real

meeting began.