With cellulite still five or ten years off,
the hostess hid (by sitting on) the stool
on Padre's right. He drank his last Smirnoff
and thought of angels and the Golden Rule.
"You're new here, aren't you, luv?" The hostess' drool
got in the way of silence. Padre balked.
He realised that he was being stalked
and deeply wished he wasn't. "Just for fun,"
he sighed, "pretend you've taken orders and not talked.
For that you'd be my favourite, bar none."
He paid his tab and toddled to the door
and tarried there to think of which away
the Shore Patrol had gone. He had drunk more,
again, than prudent, and began to sway,
then, calling years of practice, made his way
back to the town piazza, hailed a jeep
whose driver recognised him. "Have to keep,"
the Padre said, "appointments." Half alert,
he talk-dozed to the harbour: "Wayward sheep
need shepherds to prevent their getting hurt."
On Sunday Padre preached just up a storm
and rather overdid it for his style.
He mentioned Golden Mean, then got on form,
then eulogised the Shore Patrol. "Be mild.
The wildest misadventures," Padre smiled,
"need not occur. Just turn the other cheek
and leave before you paddle up a creek
to waters where you'd rather not begin."
He stopped the service leaving time to seek
a healthy pre-lunch tonic laced with gin.