Rod Hilton

Got here last night 3 a.m.
Shivering cold in Indian cottons
Shared taxi to Bruce Hall -- first in the row
RT stone dead asleep / stone deaf
Crashed on the carpet in the corridor
Providentially a pillow in the corner
Vicki the cleaning lady startled me awake 6 in the morning
Lent me the floor of her room, another pillow, a blanket, a towel and a country soap
Showered while marvelling at the condom-vending machine
'The showers are unisex' said the RT, by now apologetic and wide awake
His name's Rod Hilton. Hilton! wouldn't you've guessed.
Which his Magic Touch phone he touched everyone
No! No room at the inn!
Why did I pick him? he asked
For your name, dummy!
Vicki brought in capuccino, granola with pears
I was shameless enough to order muffins
Vicki threw in an apple for Teacher
Yes, it's a hard life!
Rod had become my genie in the brass lamp
He was at the bus-stop seeing me off
Still trying to find room for me
I promised him a poem, a raise...
Australian parrots on the grass, alas!
And mallards squawking in the wintry sky

Hoshang Merchant, India

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