Allan Ahlberg

Image by Martin Salter

The Slow Man

The Slow Man

The phone rings
But never long enough
For the Slow Man.

By the time
The set's switched on
His favourite programme's over.

His tea grows cold
From cup to lip.
His soup evaporates.

He laughs, eventually,
At jokes long since
Gone out of fashion.

Sell-by dates
And limited special offers
Defeat him.

He comes home
With yesterday's paper
And reads it...tomorrow.

from The Mysteries of Zigomar (Walker, 1997), copyright © Allen Ahlberg 1997, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Books by Allan Ahlberg