Heaven Forbid!

“Are these the famous Pearly Gates? And are you that Saint Peter?
I’ve heard of both, of course, but always thought they don’t exist.”
“We are indeed sir,” Peter said, “And I’m your meet ‘n’ greeter,
Please take a seat, I have to check your name is on my list.”

I read the Times review of heaven while I sat there waiting,
It said “Quite comfy, quite relaxing, well-maintained and clean.
So all in all we’d give the place a four-point-five-star rating.”
They also praised the angel staff – the sweetest they had seen.

A notice on the wall was advertising harp tuition,
Another one was tempting you to buy a high-end cloud,
And next to them some photos of a swanky chic addition
Designed to swell the range of flowing robes that God’s allowed.

I thought my lifetime’s atheism might prove problematic,
I knew that rational thought is by believers thought a sin.
I mentioned this to Peter, who said “God can be erratic,
Who knows? I’ll have a word with Him, He might just let you in.

Please make yourself at home, I’m sure you’ll find a place to linger.”
I mooched around the foyer, careful not to stray too far.
And then I saw Saint Peter beckon with his saintly finger,
Just as I went to join Princess Diana at the bar.

“I’ve spoken to the Guv’nor sir, He said He’s awfully sorry,
But rules is rules and atheists are not allowed in here.
You’ll be shipped out of Heaven on tomorrow’s Hell-bound lorry,
But please till then accept from Him this complimentary beer.”

“Oh well,” I said to Princess Di, “it seems I’m off tomorrow,
They’re sending me to Hell.” She said “Oh, that’s a bit extreme.
I’ll order up some Veuve Clicquot and we can drown your sorrow.”
‘Twas then I woke to find that it had all been just a dream.

© 2021 Glen Scott
Photo cc Andy Hares, Flickr