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Rachel Mann

(For D.S.)

As when Aidan crunched onto the holy shore
kicked the sting of the sea from between his toes
stood and quaked beneath the impossible vault of heaven
and understood.

How he traced the shapes of Alpha and Omega
on the palms of his unpromising hands
asked to bear the blessing
prayed the ink would stir the Word uncurl
blink itself awake.

We too have known that startling silence of the heart
the world's refusal to speak.
We too have come to that wide unyielding desert
the wilderness which steals.

Too late we ask to receive. Too easily we hide.
Too late we understand: no pilgrim may be given more.