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Jerusalem, Whanganui (2017)

It’s raining in Jerusalem

The sibilant storm welcomed

to this waiting place

silent, without judgement.

Invited to nestle among

tree clotted sheets

knotted at Mataimoana

Raindrops, countless

Coalesce.

Soak shoes off path

haste to reach Saint Josephs.

Where the brass knob sticks

Resists

damp entry to

the storm’s clumsy pash.

A door finally gives in

to desiccated narthex,

Aubert’s consonant shrine.

East wall, the silent chancery

scowls away the ersatz

congregationalist.

To wander the soaked lawn

where carved rills of khaki water

run toward a weed clumped paddock.

Where Mary stands in

pale shelter

blue linen gown

and thick leaved rhododendron

glade. No sky no horizon.

Fleshed bare

right foot.

Toes like writing fingers.

Nails flat and half mooned.

They never wrote a day in their life.

Washed clean again anyway.

Bishop Cullinane planted

pohutakawa

In honour she never wanted

Now stunted. Out of place in these shadows.

Aubergine lichen licks the branches.

Mary stares,

steadfastly low.

Moisture springs

dribbles down

her inside ankle.

Nature’s kenosis.

This is

fortitude.

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