At The End Of The Day

the last time he went to church
he couldn’t sneak out for a fag
slip into a secret sleep in the sermon
do crosswords as a choir boy
or wonder at the fruit on Mrs Brimacombe’s hat
no, this time it was decidedly different

he had to lie back in silence
but at least he had his own space
and for once in his life
he had himself to himself
with no one to make demands
and today there was no offering to organise

he didn’t hear all the talk and testimonies
the subject matter a little too familiar
he would have been embarrassed
appropriate that this was hidden from him
though he would have appreciated
the playing of the piano by his grandson

more than eighty summers were moulded in his being
cucumber sandwiches, church fetes
the odd game of tennis with other parishioners
family camps at the beach, fishing trips
and card games to the early hours
yarns and cards very much his game

eighty winters of fireside fellowship
in the communion of church circles
but he hadn’t been one for academia
they could keep all them books!
God was within, to be experienced
always part of his daily dialogue

but the service was now ending
the church reclaiming an austere chilliness
the congregation quietly departing
into bright light and morning sun
his grandson last, turning
shutting the heavy church door.

© Richard Scutter 11 July 2007

Footnote ...

This poem was motivated by friend Ron.


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