Protestant Windows

Sam Gardiner

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

Towards eternity,

Where planets, the largest novelty,

Are looking less and less

Like being  success.