The conference

-How do you discriminate between the staff?

He asked, leaning back in his chair.

The place was an old winery

That never made enough money, so now they held all the university meetings here.

-Why would I?

The woman answered.

-How do you decide who is good and not so good?

The whole room of people stirred uneasily.

A fox and a hare had run past the window earlier; I watched out the window

Hoping they’d return; I began to daydream.

I remembered the night the old man started to cry in my office.

He was telling me how he had cut down German citizens from his Spitfire in World War 2.

They hadn’t done anything,

He just had bullets left.

He saw them crossing a field,

They were old men and woman and children

One of them had shaken a fist at him,

He could see their faces,

So close was he as he flew over them.

He turned and unleashed those barking pipes.

He cried that night as he remembered.

Now we sit in a meeting and argue about adjectives in our communication documents.

The old man had said to me that night:

-It’s a terrible thing to grow old

But it’s better than the alternative.

 

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