They told me once an old man sat in the sky
sounding like sunshine
looking down the whole while
firm but fair
a tireless just invigilator
keeping his eye
on all the little ones
so to speak
a duty of care
as I have grown up
as a grown up I ask
if the old man is always there
if he is up to the job
whether he has
or has not
lost the plot
let time erode his sense of responsibility
gone off too often for a pee
or just taken the piss
disappeared too frequently
behind a conveniently
passing cloud
for a crafty smoke
frankly on occasion failed to show up at all
secure in the knowledge that none in life
may look upon his countenance
I have gone so far as to consider
whether there are grounds for dismissal
but must in these days
at his age
build a case to avoid allegations
of age discrimination
as a test case
there is an incident in which
a blond haired 3 year old girl
long neglected and left home alone
fell down the stairs and
broke her back
and then lay unattended
for hours and hours
a clear breach
as far as I can see
of both omnipresence and omnipotence
people blame the parents
the parents blame crack
but I blame the old man
and the old man blames the devil
claiming as always
that he was in fact present
knew all about it
but could
indeed should
not intervene
only when pressed
‘mysterious ways’
Left to me he would be gone tomorrow
but the old chap is popular
and despite his demonstrable inability
effectively to fulfill his duties
seemingly well loved
adored even by many
I believe that in the end
a compromise can be agreed
a title of some sort
a nominal role
with ongoing invitations to
Sports Days
Summer Fetes
and other special events
as Omnipotence Advisor and


Gary Wildridge


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