by Sam Gardiner
won in 1993
They come at sunset peddling daylight, two
Salesmen wearing glasses, through which they view
His shabby sliding sashes with disdain.
"Wood?" they suppose and feign
Dismay. "Yes, comes from trees,"
And he raises the drawbridge ten degrees,
A hurdle to reservists
But child's play to front line evangelists
With news of paradise
On earth (at this address to be precise)
In whitest white PVC.
"Think of all
The blessings. And if economical
Heavenly comfort isn't what you need
Think of Our Earth," they plead,
And their plastic-rimmed, double, glazed eyes glow
With love for generations of window
Salesmen as yet unborn. "If I were you,
I'd save my CO2
For atheists and papists. I doubt
They even know about
King Billy." "Who?" "William III to you,
Brought sliding sashes to
Britain, fetched in pure air and sanity.
Without him we'd still be
In the dark."
"Sorry, we must go. It's late,"
They say, and beat a retreat to the gate,
And pause. Quick as a flash
He raises an effortlessly sliding sash
For a parting shot. "Plastic heretics!"
He shouts. The window sticks.
He tugs, a sash-cord snaps, the window drops
On his head, where it stops.
Latimer and Ridley know how he feels
As bloodied, martyred for his faith, he reels
Where planets, the largest novelty,
Are looking less and less
Like being success.