Woven in the Bone

Issue sevenIssue Seven Poetry

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By Audrey Molloy

 

And all this time, was anyone keeping account?

     Light from Light, true God from true God,

Child-years lost drawing pictures of a man riding

     Begotten not made, in one being with the Father,

into town on a donkey, or a menagerie in a manger,

     Grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom,

 

altar-side hours bearing girl-guide flags

     All that I am, all that I do,

with my brown bomber jacket stuck to my back,

     All that I’ll ever have, I offer now to you,

hunger pangs of daily mass in Lent before school,

     This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,

 

the happy pulling-asunder of roses

     Sweet sacrament, we thee adore,

for strewing in Corpus Christi processions,

     O make us love Thee, more and more,

the coughing-quiet outside the confessional,

     Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,

 

half-hours on hard pews thinking up sins,

     And to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned,

sleepless nights feeling guilty for them,

     Through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words,

decades spent on rosaries of penance,

     In what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

 

the tedium of the blessing of throats or pets,

     Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,

the click of the thurible in benediction,

     but only say the word and I shall be healed,

the incense sweetly coating my lungs,

     I leave you peace, my peace I give you,

 

afternoons in the curate’s house counting coins

     It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

into small stacks, whole evenings standing in a fug

     In giving to all man that we receive,

of damp sweaters, hymns like heavy blankets,

     And in dying that we are born to eternal life,

 

practice in front of the mirror for a letter from St Paul

     Jesus taught us to call God our Father,

to the Ephesians, teenage Sunday Masses stealing a glimpse

     And so we have the courage to say, for the kingdom

of you, half-naked in the bas-relief of the Stations.

     The power, and the glory are yours, now and forever,

 

Christ, you and I are no longer on speaking terms;

forsaken, not forgotten,

in every cell of my being, you are woven.

 

 

(First published in The Galway Review, Nov 2016)