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Outlook
News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 4 Winter 2007

At Ramsholt

One good place found:
a church porch facing the river,
a heavy door behind, the sun arched in front.
We sit together on a simple wooden bench
and let the shelter and what warmth there is in March
be ours for a while.

A double wheeled tractor
provides a background drone to other sounds:
gulls alert each other, rise and fall behind;
rooks leave the trees suddenly
as a fighter jet flies over.
It soon disappears.

Even with a siren going
its quieter than were used to.
We try to pray, not wanting direction
just a presence, however fleeting, of peace
to flood the shadows of your cancer
and wash them away.

A cock pheasant
starts to preach in the middle of its field
making you laugh as if a source of joy
that we had lost returns to us
and the word blessing beaches in my head
like a barnacled smack.

Tide, footpath, track,
coverts planted by the Quilters for game birds
and Ramsholt Dock that still has a harbour master:
here for us today and after we leave.
I fold your wheelchair and put it back in the car.
The weather holds.

ramsholt

First published in an anthology of verse: Is a religious poem possible in the 21st century? (Flarestack, 2004)