Posted in Christmas

Off Duty (Part III)

When to speak up?
I felt a little chastened by my brother’s indifference
then moved by the big guy’s take on egalitarianism
had decided to say nothing,
then valour thought better of discretion.

I tell him it’s really good thing they’re doing
“ mate,” he booms,
tone and volume seldom heard in a hospital
“ I’m really pleased to be able to do this ”
then waves an arm around
“ it’s not just me mate,
its these guys too
they raised the money to pay for it,
a year’s work mate –
a year of sausage sizzles, bar raffles, quiz nights.”

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Posted in Christmas

Off Duty (Part II)

It’s almost always possible to pick the person in charge, even when
looking incongruous, 
out of place
and bedecked with soft toys.

Woodsman forearms
solid and
tattooed
shoulders and chest of a professional footballer
voice deep, and pack a day –
this man works for a living.
he looked fancy dressed, bedecked with soft toys –

“ There ya go mate – for ya wee girl.”

My brother never did diplomacy
and this was no different
but he didn’t mean offence either
and none was taken
his cheerful gruffness, endearing and aside pushing
neutrality the result, always.
“ It’s okay pal, she’s got plenty of toys –
give it to someone who needs it.”

The big guy said,
“ mate I’d really appreciate it if you’d take it,
that way all the kids get one
and nobody feels poor.”