Oak panelled kitsch,
portraits loured from the walls,
( there were thirteen in all )
a pair of councillors shared a private joke
others shuffled papers,
business like, professional,
one slept peacefully,
like a dormouse in a teapot,
unheeded by his neighbours’ vacant stares.
Only the chairman fixed me to my seat,
with an incandescent glare.
His birdlike secretary
flicked a single sheet of paper
across the glistening divide.
What was the question?
Not ‘What the fuck am I doing here?’
What was my reply,
with one eye on the sarcastic clock,
the other on the gothic ceiling,
vainly searching for the sky?
I forget, but guess what?
The chairman’s nephew
claimed the vacant slot.
The picture shows Swansea's Guildhall tower. You might remember that in another poem I referred to the fact that Hitler had earmarked this for his regional seat of government when the Nazis successfully invaded. It's true. You can check it out. He was a really stupid man, who never realised that he didn't need to invade at all!