Sunday, 10 January 2016

An Eternal Presence

Between the nine o'clock at Bursea
And the service up at Holme
There is an idle forty minutes
Sitting in the car, to warm
Those parts religion misses,
Read the news, and feel the calm:
The calm of somehow nothing changing,
Though it changes every day,
In the decent world of Ambridge,
Over airwaves, far away.

It soothes the soul to think of Peggy
Sounding as she always did
Remembering The Bull, and Polly,
Dead first wife of now dead Sid.
It fills some niche within the mind
That never knew it needed filling
Comforts with its endless nagging:
Clarrie going on at Eddy,
Brian putting up with Jenny,
Some row about a cattle grid.

Between the nine o' clock at Bursea
And the driving up to Holme
To where the dark green yews are blowing,
And the ancient bells are ringing
Drowning out the winter birds,
There is no sudden great elation
But there's peace, in voices chatting,
Fictional domestication,
like remembered mothers' singing,
Human, comfortable words.

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