evening prayer ……………………………………Screen-iron of sanctuary
and communion rail, in a dark church;
a hassock rasping bare knees.
Struggle. Prayer as continuing failure.
The self
…………mounting by questions
to collapse —
………………..God
was in His own unbridgeable
distance.

……

Rain streaks fugitive air.
A rainbow opens, so high
its near foot seems vertical.
……………………………..If such brightness
walked the earth —

it’s this monumental upright
………………………………the gale implies
with danger and buffeting;
not a father’s
never-believed-in return

but the sought-for bridegroom
privately alight
……………….with recognition
in the garden.

Feral, generous —
maybe a shudder of wings —
keeping you company
while you remain awake,
moment by moment,
watching shadows of willow-twig
on a wooden wall:
…………………….play
you can never catch hold of —

– Fiona Sampson, from ‘Common Prayer’

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