Joanna Guthrie

3 Poems

Vicar prays on the beach

Steady upwards on his knees, ruminant
by stewing sea. Fear pestering him
like a litter of pups. Shhh. These big waves
blot out the smallers. Irritated. Next to them
he is a dragonfly of a thing
flitting the water’s roof, not long
in the world: snapped in, snipped out.

His footprints no doubt vanishing
behind him. Pebbles murdering his kneecaps.
The fast beat of wings inside his chest
thunderous in its way. I am a scrap of balsa
but still count as a landmark at this moment
– eyes listening, ears looking
here very able and alive
in the middle of a tricky prospect.

Faith coming through just legible
almost violent
its hook dangling lazily in the current
a prayer being brought to him as a spell –
all of us on flock – as he is lifted
sticking out his tongue
gathering raindrops in its hollow.
Becoming rain. If such a thing were possible.



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