The Grey Men
It was an ordinary outing to the cinema
for the little girl and her mother.
But first, the Pathe News
showing a large meeting --
"the United nations", her mother said.
A fat, bald mad was shouting angrily.
Then he took off his shoe
and banged it on the table.
next came a shot of the listening faces.
Grey men -- well the film was black and white,
but she thought they would be grey even in Technicolor.
They were frozen speechless with shock.
"What's it all about?" she asked her mother.
It seemed he was angry because of
some perceived injustice or hypocrisy.
It sounded reasonable to the little girl.
"But it just isn't done", said her mother.
"you just can't do that. Not there.
Not in such a place".
"But he did do that", said the little girl.
And she thought of the shocked expressions
on the faces of the faceless grey men
"I would do that".
She pictured them again
"I will do that"
and I think she did.
The grey men are still with us,
but the shoe thumpers are still
the palette with colour.
First published in Scarlet Leaf Review, Issue 2, July 2017