Unlike the usual lack of urgency
they arrived here half an hour early,
calling our names and beckoning
on the far side of the gate,
at the far end of the drive,
I trudged down to the postern,
undid the padlock,
drew back the rolling draw
to admit a small cramped carriage.
It crunched over the gravel
as I waved in at the window.
Out of its tightness two oversized
decorators in white unwound.
Pleasantries and shakes were found,
but at this stage I might have been dumb
for not a word of welcome was undone
unwrapped or understood by two or one.
Preparations, though, had been made
all was clear and expectant,
with curtains, blinds and shutters extant.
Quick conflabs with cryptic glances ,
instructions issued by captain to forces
and all was frantic activity.
Doors removed and windows lifted,
mats disported and fittings shifted.
The place was cold and naked.
But not for long, like festive fixings
paper and tapes festooned the wings.
When suitably papered and protected
brushes waved like a magic marvel.
Paint applied with such deft strokes
included the ingredient marble,
in no time at all, one coat was done.
Stretches and nods of appreciation
and it was time for lunch.
Repairing to the local hostelry
found others of a similar bunch
three courses for a sum quite paltry.
And they were replete – you can guess
and came back burping of lentejas
(Or lentils with garlic to you and me).
Drink is always included,
so on return there were also several smiles,
an improvement on the morning’s whiles.
It seemed a more measured pace
or was it just the smiling face ?
The second coat inside
was almost in a dream applied.
But then out in the heat of full sun
the outer skin was stickily overcome.
All was quiet but for the sticky roller
brush on a stick was the only corolla
and by supper it was done !
And all aglow in the evening sun.
Pristine and clean above and below
with azul returns to door and window
to ward away the evil eye
and spurious spirits that may lie by.
Job well done and all were happy
gave a toast and drank up snappy.
The boys went home tired and flush
late enough to miss the rush.
We sat outside by the setting suns
seemed to see two now all was done.
Happiness, ah yes … strikes a chord:
Feeling blessed. Thank you Lord.