Dennis O’Driscoll

No, thanks

No, I don't want to drop over for a meal
on my way home from work.
No, I'd much prefer you didn't feel obliged
to honour me by crashing overnight.
No, I haven't the slightest curiosity about seeing
how your attic conversion finally turned out.
No, I'm not the least bit interested to hear
the low-down on your Florida holiday.
No way am I going to blow a Friday night's freedom
just to round out numbers at your dinner table.
No, I'm simply not able for the excitement
of your school-term coffee mornings.
No, strange though it may seem, your dream kitchen
holds no fascination whatsoever for me.
No, there's nothing I'd like less than to get
together at your product launch reception.
No, I regret I can't squeeze your brunch into my schedule
- you'll be notified should an opening occur.
No, I don't appear to have received an invitation
to your barbecue - it must have gone astray.
No, my cellphone was out of range, my e-mail caught a virus,
I had run out of notepads, parchment, discs, papyrus.
No, you can take No for an answer, without bothering
your head to pop the question.
No, even Yes means No in my tongue, under my breath:
No, absolutely not, not a snowball's chance, not a hope.