I have some exciting, wonder-full news
That I’m bursting to tell someone.
But I am sworn to secrecy and
It’s eating me up inside.
It’s incredible news – like receiving a letter saying
I’m being awarded an OBE or a Knighthood –
Yet better than that, so much bigger than that,
And I can’t tell a soul.
I have some astonishing news
It’s so earth-shattering that
I’ll explode if I keep it inside, although
I have known for longer than I can remember.
I have to tell someone, someone who will keep
The secret safe until it’s public knowledge
And everyone knows the secret.
I have to tell at least one soul.
I’ll find a soul nobody thinks matters
A dweller of the great outdoors found on benches, in gateways and fields –
Unwashed, smelly, coarse in language –
The sort of rough sleeper others cross
The street to avoid
And whose apparently random outbursts are ignored
As the rantings of someone who has forgotten how to engage
With polite society.
That’s the sort of person to tell.
They will keep my secret in plain sight as
Nobody will believe them.
Nobody will listen to them.
Even if they tell everyone about it
Hearers will put it down to too much alcohol
Or the delusions of someone who has had to spend
Too much time in their own company and among animals.
So, in the dead of night
When sensible people are sleeping
And my unsuspecting victim is slouched against a wall,
I sneak up behind him
Catching him unawares.
And, catching the expletive in his throat,
He and his friends are scared witless by my appearance.
He receives my life-changing secret
Wide-eyed, open-mouthed, incredulous.
He hears of my good news –
As unlikely as it sounds –
And after witnessing a flashmob performance
Of Handel’s Messiah (before he wrote it)
He and his friends decide to find out for themselves
And fill their souls to overflowing.
© 2015 Nick Lear*
Be blessed, be a blessing
*If you want to share this with anyone, please feel free.