Margaret Alice Second

Gold Star - 16,000 Points (24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Harps And Pitchforks - Poem by Margaret Alice Second

Came the clarion call – oh come, all officials, come
collect diaries and bags to prepare for next year,
obediently we trooped downstairs to receive a
mousepad flashing in orange fluorescence

Took an extra one for Madame Pompadour - missing
in action again; Hanlie took one for June who refused
to leave her chair, too enamoured of her computer
to move at all, this morning June lamented:

Vanity, vanity, all vanity; Hanlie checked Ecclesiastes
for grasshopper similes in four languages: Afrikaans,
English, German and French - June said she would
read the Apocrypha during December

I said I love Muslim stories about Jesus as a real little
cowboy when He was small – said to have shrivelled
his teacher’s arm – Hermien objected, claiming ‘The
little boy Jesus was as sweet as an angel! ’

Hermien has three sons herself, how can she believe it?
Humming happily I returned to my desk, started to edit
recalcitrant documents thinking; soon I shall be in the
veld - golden grass and the glorious sun

In an ineffable African sky – why should I worry whether
Hermien has seen the Apocrypha at all - the picture of the
little Jesus will forever hold sway in my heart - and since
the Church Fathers rejected reincarnation

I accept reincarnation as fact, rejoicing about life ever-
lasting - beyond harps and pitchforks…


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 8, 2011

Poem Edited: Sunday, February 5, 2012


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