The Donkey's Owner

Snaffled my donkey, he did - good luck to him! -
Rode him astride, feet dangling, near scraping the ground.
Gave me the laugh of my life when I first see them,
Remembering yesterday - you know, how Pilate come
Bouncing along the same road, only that horse of his
Big as a bloody house and the armour shining
And half Rome trotting behind. Tight-mouthed he was,
Looking he owned the world.

Then today,
Him and my little donkey! Ha - laugh? -
I thought I'd kill myself when he first started.
So did the rest of them. Gave him a cheer
Like he was Caesar himself, only more hearty:
Tore off some palm-twigs and followed shouting,
Whacking the donkey's behind .... Then suddenly
We see his face.

The smile had gone, and somehow the way he sat
Was different - like he was much older - you know -
Didn't want to laugh no more.

Chris Sansom

Softly and Tenderly
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