Just before the end of an interview
the curveball question
perpendicular to topic
designed to unsettle.
“ What is the most important thing to you.”
I answer. With the truth.
and ask again
the reply ricochets
pens are suspended
puzzled looks exchanged.
filled with shuffling paper
is there anything to be added? “No.”
Normal transmission resumes.
It is an elite course they explain
places are limited, competition fierce
finalisation may take six weeks
if unsuccessful, reasons can be disclosed.
The letter arrives with bad news
or, perhaps it is good
and an invite to seek clarification.
Curiosity defeats rancour.
The answer for failure –
a lack of verbal confidence
the answer to the awkward question
Ruth : the person I have spent my life with.