There was a choice of three prompts by Emerging Writer who is driving the Poetry Bus this week. I chose L'esprit d'escalier which means The wit of the staircase and refers to that frustrating experience in which the perfect witty response occurs too late to be of any use. But do visit and check it out for yourself. So I will just call this:-
More eagle in his eyrie
than bishop in his pulpit, given that
the steely glare from steel rimmed eyes had found
this juicy morsel of an altar boy
about to be confirmed - and had locked-on.
Any moment now he'd swoop, and I
would be consumed. Or carried off
to feed the kids. Conspicuous
in bright red cassock and white surplice (no
one else in that great nave was wearing red -
my uniform had been the vicar's doing!)
you might have called it destined (or pre-destined?)
that a stomach ache the size of hell would strike.
I'd wriggled in its clutches. Now,
impaled upon that stony stare, I squirmed
the more. The beak-like nose had been aligned,
was pointing straight at me. How did he know?
His eyes on me - and only me - each time
he whispered, roared or otherwise re-
iterated his main text (how sinners
feel discomfort in the presence of the Lord),
so multitudes of demons gathered there.
He shook hands with us at the great west door
and whispered as we passed. To me he said:
The Lord will choose you for... but I was gone,
and half-way down the great stone steps before
it came to me: ...his breakfast, I don't doubt!
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