At the altar rail

At the altar rail

1920 1278 Glen Wilson

 
We slowly edged forward,
some were troubled by the two marble steps but still ascended,
The tall man bent on a cane,
the hooded teenager
The old woman who talked to herself with a smile
The former Principal back stiff as a board
still casting his eye over the room.
Every one of us dropped to our knees,
our necks presented like swans waiting for some axe to fall.
It never did, hands cupped as if taking water
at some mountain brook.
I kept my eyes open, watched as the clergy intoned
The blood of Christ
and God laid his hand over all of us.

 

Glen Wilson

Glen Wilson lives and works in Portadown, Co Armagh. He is Worship co-ordinator at St Mark's church Portadown #StMarksPortadown #Manna He has been widely published having work in The Honest Ulsterman, Foliate Oak, Iota, Southword and The Incubator Journal amongst others. In 2014 he won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.

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