Command Performance

A Traditional Christmas

For Christmas, the Queen

Requests new nipple tassels

Then, on Boxing Day,

She sets herself up

On a portable podium

On Brighton Pier

And begins swiveling

Her sparkling accessories

To a thinning crowd.

It’s a tradition,

Stemming from the recession.

There’s no tv crew.

She plays childhood songs

On a wind-up gramophone

Then smiles at those left.

There are only two:

A bag lady, and someone

From an actors’ home

Who wants to show her

His press cuttings, then hand her

A dusty meringue.

 “Miss it all dear, do you?

Christmas at Balmoral – with

Those kilts and sporrans?”

“No, I’ve had all that,”

Says the Queen, who’s now giggling. 

“The penny dropped.

“Thanks to Christ’s message,

‘Give away all that thou hast’

I can smile real smiles!”

Then in frayed slippers

She walks back to the care home

For her Christmas lunch.

Still spinning her tassels

And without a care in the world –

She buttonholes people,

 “Christmas is magic

So borrow my bank account

For as long as you like.

“It still has trillions

Last time I looked. Jesus saves,

So please help yourselves.

“This Christmas each coin

Has a poor person’s face on.

Hope you’ve all noticed?

“All of them were mine

But now the poor have first dibs.

Christmas eh? What larks!”

Then the people’s ghost

Of Christmas past vanishes

Into the mists of time.

Heathcote Williams

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One response to “Command Performance

  1. more SEVERE JOY
    please

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