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From above, they looked like water,
Shoulder to shoulder that wet, black evening.
Then, flickers of cell-phones, flashes, intensified,
so, from high, they became a woman’s evening dress
Sewn with sequins, beads, that glinted on her curves
In certain lights. What must he have felt,
Stood up there clothes in sudden white,
Hands at his sides, watched, and quietly watching?
But, when he asked for prayer (for it is in our giving)
The glittering mass healed to silence (that we receive)
And he bent, like a man alone on a shoreline,
By this drenching pattern of humanity –
Its needs, its lusts, and loves and grudges,
And hard-won holinesses –
While they listened together for God’s listening, as
still water aches for the breaking touch of rain.
(reproduced with thanks from The Tablet)
Published Sun 31st Mar 2013 16:44:16