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Patten, Brain


The Minister for Exams

When I was a child I sat an exam.

The test was so simple

There was no way I could fail.


Q1. Describe the taste of the moon.


It tastes like Creation I wrote,

It has the flavour of starlight.


Q2. What colour is love?


Love is the colour of the water a man

lost in the desert finds, I wrote.


Q3. Why do snowflakes melt?


I wrote, they melt because they fall

onto the warm tongue of God.


There were other questions.

They were as simple.


I described the grief of Adam when he was expelled from Eden.

I wrote down the exact weight of an elephant’s dream.


Yet today, many years later,

For my living, I sweep the streets

Or clean out the toilets of the fat hotels.


Why? Because constantly I failed my exams.

Why? Well, let me set you a test.


Q1. How large is a child’s imagination?

Q2. How shallow is the soul of the Minister for Exams?

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