Summer benediction

Backstory: Stained glass window in St Anne’s (Church of Ireland) Dawson Street where the baptism took place. I ran a religious bookshop (1982 – 1984) in that church, where I met Brigette.

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  • After Evensong, above regimental rows
    of empty pews, insistent drum-roll of rain;
    ancient baptismal vows, prayerful prose
    whisper-uttered: you hoped to clothe your pain.

    What secret needed Christ’s redeeming?
    Did mystical washing give you song?
    Did benediction bless, sun streaming
    through stained glass make anchor strong?

    ————————————————-

    Two strangers, we met under church porch,
    shower shelter shared, shyly we introduced
    ourselves to each other, a tenuous torch
    lit our faces: summer romance let loose.

    Under high-arched, baroque cathedral roof
    choir-sung oratorio echoed, pathos pervaded;
    our eyes articulately spoke emotional proof,
    under regimental flags no longer paraded.

    Later kissed proffered lips, moonlight reflected
    college courtyards, I cupped your freckled face;
    such bright-eyed eagerness, quite unexpected,
    dumbfounded by such feminine-firm embrace.

    Nervous, amateurish, out-of-practice palms
    pulled you close, I embraced like true believer;
    such love was not to last, my faith held qualms,
    scripture separated – who pulled guillotine lever?

    _____________________________________

    Originally composed 1982 – current rendering, November 7th 2015

     

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