Evening Mass

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Sarah Law.                                                                                                            

Evening Mass

That Sunday, I don’t go to take the sacrament
when the congregation lines up soul by soul –

still, I offer prayers in my own way: breathing in
the quietened air, its hinterland of something more,

sitting on my bench in the turning world. I keep
custody of the eyes; confine my hands from moving

and my pen from uttering curves or loose words:
the communicants return like a flock of birds.

Soon the Mass is over, the priest gone. One by
one, people stand, and – briefly genuflecting – leave.

Stuffing a parish leaflet in my pocket I stand up,
turn once beside the pew, drop on my knee

to thank this light-and-shadow place, where
each moment has a pulse, and for one split second

the world is transfused with wing and white –
and I cannot see, or speak, or get back up.

 


Sarah Law lives in London UK and is a tutor for The Open University and elsewhere. She edits the online journal Amethyst Review for new writing engaging with the sacred.

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