the manager

I thought of him as The Manager
I’d have asked his name if I could
but he marched with a head-down manner
whenever we passed in the woods

he was sleeping rough it was clear
his jacket and trousers reeked
his tash was as trim as a brigadier’s
so maybe he shaved in the creeks

he hugged a briefcase in front of him – so
like a panicking city gent
and I said hello as I saw him go
but that’s as far as it went

he slept in a broken down stable
like Jesus fifty years on
a bale of old hay for a table
and all the wise men gone

another walker told me the rest
he was found a while since he died
a walker exploring the forest
stopping and peering inside

‘well it won’t be an open coffin’
said Bill, enjoying the shocks
‘ten weeks dead and quite rotten
half eaten by badger and fox’

but maybe the forest claimed him
finally setting him free
The Manager with no one to name him
flying amongst the trees

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