I remember when I were a lad
Sundays meant only one thing. Church.
And the real possibility of missing the footy
On ‘World of Sport’ with Dickie Davies.
Entering the chilly, severe building
In my best Sunday hand-knitted tank-top
Absorbing the unique smells of
Wooden pews and well-thumbed hymn books.
Admiring the ceilings, the windows
Admitting a watery sunlight
The Pulpit, covered with its purple cloth
Set up on high, to convey its power.
But, behind the pulpit, those magnificent
Organ pipes, rising majestically to the ceiling
The dimly-lit kiosk where the organist sits
Pushing and pulling on those stopper things.
He’s pounding the planks below his feet like a madman
Maybe, just tapping out the beat
As the sound echoes round the room
And the gathered throng belt out the hymn.
Once sat again, and in-between deciding
What colour I would give Paddington’s hat today
I contemplate those organ pipes again
And, as you do, I started to wonder.
What if a mouse was stuck in one of those pipes?
Making the B-flat more squeaky than usual
I imagine the poor mouse being blasted
Up the pipe, before falling down again
Until the next B-flat was struck.
This, of course, led my young mind
To wonder what if a mouse was stuck
In every one of those grandiose pipes.
When the next hymn came along, I stood
And imagined that invisible, balletic symphony
Of mice rising and falling within the pipes.
Unappreciated by the naked eye.
Now the Service has ended and I am trying
To shoo Mum and Dad out of the church
So we can get home, eat Sunday dinner and
Enjoy ‘World of Sport’ with Dickie Davies.
But I know that from now until next Sunday
I’ll be thinking of the mice resting until
They are rudely awakened next week.
And Paddington’s hat was red, of course.