He sits beside me on the pew,
the bell has ceased to toll,
a rugged man with piercing eye,
his hair as black as coal.
He casts a glance then weighs me up.
“There’s things a man should know,”
and then he stares ahead again,
his words are whispered low.
“I am the Resurrection come!”
The vicar starts the dirge.
“Lord Fibba’s cold,” the stranger croaks,
“the dead don’t re-emerge.”
I feel the urge to run away
so sinister the voice,
but blood is duty bound to stay,
I feel there is no choice.
“And even though we die we live,”
the priest is on a roll,
reciting spells from out a book
to save a wicked soul.
“I bet that makes m’Lady wince,”
the stranger shakes his head,
“she doesn’t want no comeback kid.
She wished old Fibba dead.
A shocking way of going, mind,
marauders in the night,
who only came to kill, they say,
a man too old to fight.
They stabbed him in the heart, they did,
an organ full of sin,
then left without a trace of how
and when they’d broken in.
He had it coming to him mind,
his life made work a farce,
three hundred quid a day he got
for sitting on his arse.
Then played away from home he did.
His wife is seething mad.
A beauty queen and young she is,
which makes it twice as bad.
Now all these fogies on the pews
would pull her into bed,
along with those ill-gotten goods
that live though Fibba’s dead.”
I shake my head that such a man,
uncouth to ear and eye,
can know so much about the life
of those who are so high.
“For memories we treasure,”
the vicar’s in a trance
and tries to get the flock involved
but doesn’t stand a chance.
The stranger slides along the pew
and whispers in my ear,
“Comes riding by each Thursday noon,
when no-one else is near.
Astride a big black stallion,
ne’er gelding or a mare,
a midday gallop in the woods,
knowing I’ll be there.
She pokes me with her whip, and then
she orders, ‘Follow me!
I will need you Mr Jobbing Man.
An urgent job you see.
These demanding hours of dressage
are all a girl can take,
play havoc with my back and thighs
and make my body ache.
Now you must massage me
wherever there is need;
but ne’er forget, rough jobbing man,
we’re of a different breed.’
Posh ladies like my jobbing hands
upon their tender flesh.
The broken nails and callouses
tell tales of my caress.
The morning that Lord Fibba died,
I’d scarce got out of bed,
when up she rides and hands to me
a box the weight of lead.
‘Lose this in the bog, my dear,
beneath the moorland sky.
Reward will come tonight, my love,
when I come riding by.’”
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,”
the vicar’s song is done.
Then when I look along the pew,
the jobbing man has gone.
Such joy! My love has killed her spouse.
Success is with our plan.
But what a hellish way to find
she has another man.