No-one commented when the committee man selected

The horse racing channel, silencing the news

From far away that this politician had won,

That one had lost

And the race appeared in time for the favourite to lose by a neck

As I mused on the correct pronoun for a gelding.

No-one knew if the winer had any form, or if it

Was going to be one of those days when

Form had no useful function

Newspapers were consulted in the back to front order

That is de rigeur in the bar but no-one was any the wiser.

By the time you’ve worked your way backwards

To cartoons and TV the useful bits of the paper are done

So far as the gamblers are concerned.

Someone asked if the TV could be turned over to the

Greek channel showing the early Premier League match

As they had a bet on the time of the first goal.

I thought of all that news, all those political commentators

Talking with all the fluency and passion of the anonymous

Horse race caller describing how the five year old just got up

And might have a long career over fences when he moved up from hurdles.

I thought of the multiple screens around me, the men ordering pints

With a gesture as they wrote out their slips for the next race

And those political commentators, talking to each other despite

Viewing figures far lower than the horse racing, UK Gold

Or the QVC channel doing a nice deal on earrings.

In our corner we turned our backs, lowered our heads and

Replayed the bleaker moments of the last Exec meeting as we

Tried to garner the votes required to make a difference.

The screwed up voting slip of the first goal punter bounced

On the floor, before he mumbled an apology to the barmaid

Picked it up, drank off his pint and left.

Apparently his minute had passed and no-one had scored.



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