A Curate’s Egg or True Humility (after du Maurier)

A humble curate making the best of it,

coddled between a bishop’s marmoreal thighs–

small talk below the salt peters out

as devils get down to business

trampling eggshells into the tablecloth,

a whiff of sulphur less sweet than a speckled fart

not worth a farthing laid on a collection tray,

their silken skipping ropes of raw white

clinging to apostle spoons,

hoping to fertilise a meringue wedding dress,

whisked and frisked,

starched petticoats patted down,

holding sway,

rendered neutral as all things

bright and beautiful–more precious

and worked on than Fabergé

hatching a dainty two-horse phaeton

from the yoke of pure gold the parlour maid

refuses to eat in case it turns her into a princess.

Gothic windows pine for divine light,

musty hymn books topple sideways,

medieval bosses let rip with pungent alleluias.

The bishop may be afraid, but the curate is stoic–

his buttered bread soldiers held fast in inky fingers,

as God only knows, he’s also a poet.

 

**

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A Curate’s Egg or True Humility (after du Maurier)

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