The Minister as a Horse

by Christopher Horton

No one can quite remember whether it was
during the Select Committee or a cabinet meeting
that he first whinnied, then flared his nostrils
in the direction of the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport.
Certainly this wasn’t minuted and either way
such things are often overlooked in Whitehall.

You might have thought the formal opposition
would have raised an objection
when, before a cross-party vote,
he bolted through the central lobby and headed out
towards St James’s Park to chew the cud,
or that a conscientious constituent would have written a letter
expressing deep concern when at the opening of a hospital
he tried to eat the ribbon.

But this is not what transpired and, miraculously,
he survived the reshuffle, proudly strutting out
of Number Ten in newly fitted hooves.
Only after he had been put out to graze
in the House of Lords, did someone enquire
as to whether, in polite society such as this,
it was really the done thing to toss one’s mane.