by Robert Nisbet
“This is our new reporter, Maddie-Jo.”
Left school, moved down from a Midlands city,
passed ‘A’ levels and looking for something new.
First job on her own, first week on the paper.
They sent her fifteen miles to Fishguard church,
a service and a tea for Christian Aid.
In her days of Midlands-city multi-faith,
she’d heard of Jesus, but much of this was new,
stained glass on a sunny morning,
the hint of glory in the colours, and then
the sonorousness lapping around her,
the benign banality of afterwards,
the cups of tea and chocolate biscuits,
a sort of amiable unction.
Back in the office, her purple finger nails
rattled across the keyboard, recording it all
for her readers.
Next week, a six-mile journey, Milford Haven.
A festival on the water front. She learned
in presentations at the new marina
of fishing and fishermen and fishing widows,
of shoals of herring swept into nets, waves
roaring up, of deaths by drowning. She felt
the seeping smell of sea and dock, heard
the clink of the little craft at anchor.
Later the purple nails went back to work,
as she described, recorded, learned, learned, learned.