The Sun Umbrella

I sat on the rooftop that Tuesday in June.
A strong wind was blowing, a warm afternoon.
The umbrella above as shade from the sun
Was anchored (I thought) and could not be undone.
Four floors beneath me, some yards from my feet
The traffic moved down the arterial street.
On my open-top eerie I sat and reflected
That the bustle below could scarce be suspected.

When all of a sudden, and to my disgust,
Came out of the blue an extraordinary gust.
Seizing the brollie this violent up-draught
Made it spin in the air like an alien craft.
Then over the capstone in less than a beat
The brollie and pole disappeared to the street.

Did I panic? Well, yes! And I seriously thought
What a claimant might say in a magistrate?s court?
&#8220This missile, your honour, came sudden, unseen
Like a bolt from the blue, it was striped white and green.
This wasn?t it seemed an incompetent error,
But a fiendish new strike in the great war on terror.
I?m claiming a million for shock and dismay,
For a near heart attack he should certainly pay.&#8221
Or, an alternative scenario:
&#8220I was on my way home with my triplets, aged seven
When a thunderbolt shot through the ether from heaven,
And struck all three&#8221. &#8220Oh, disaster, not that!&#8221
And I leapt down the stairs like a young scalded cat.

The traffic was moving towards its objective,
No windows rolled down, no violent invective.
A mother strolled by with her (yes!) triplets, aged five.
She seemed unconcerned, and the kids were alive.
No sirens were blaring, no signs of a crowd,
No ambulance men, no police and no shroud.

But trace of the parasol I couldn?t see.
Was it high above London or caught in a tree?
And then I looked down and there I beholded
My green striped umbrella intact, neatly folded.
It seemed to say, &#8220There I was high as a kite.
Watch out, or I?ll give you another such fright.&#8221

July 2005