The Poem: 3: Charade

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The Independent Online

It is either an early retirement or a long-service award

for the Word Manager this morning at 7a. m;

he is supine, still crashed out from the night before,

still sleeping it off under the continental quilt

with the Food Manager in her black nightdress.

The MD comes over in his towelling stretch-suit,

a moon and stars embroidered above the left breast,

to flourish awards from the side-table. Glasses

he booms, and then Clock in stentorian fashion,

leaning over the Food Manager to make the presentation.

The recipient gratefully straps on the black wristwatch,

pokes the spectacles onto his nose, smiles, lost for words.

Downstairs the MD wants his garage and best cars

arranged properly on the plastic tray. Civilisation

he shouts. The Word Manager sneezes hard; the Deputy


bursts into tears at this sudden explosion. The Food Manager

positions the Rolls and the DB7 by the open doors

of the red garage. The MD selects one. Civilisation

he bellows again, and then When the saints go marching in.

The Rolls and the DB7 glide through the blue doorways.

John Gohorry is a Lecturer in Further and Higher Education and is married with five children. Talk Into The Late Evening is published by Peterloo Poets (2 Kelly Gardens, Calstock, Cornwall PL18 9SA) at pounds 6.95.