Mr Sidney teaches about Jesus,
soft words packing a punch
in the pine-shiny chapel.
His sheathed glare quells infants
subdues nudging adolescents,
his meek smile a signal
for the flock’s shuffling attention.
The Sunday chorus warms
to the ebb and flow of good old tunes,
“For those in peril on the sea”,
Mr Sidney feels the power.
His boarding house is open to sinners,
holiday makers who bear the brunt
of his righteous smile.
He makes them pay a penny for swearing
or for being late for dinner,
sings hymns while he fries bacon,
his apron always whiter than white.
He sells bottles of pop from a high shelf
every colour except black
and he whispers to the children,
“say your prayers –
Jesus never takes holiday.”