Saturday, April 16, 2011

to be explosively healed

This second week of April has been an absolutely crazy one!

I participated in two different prayer rooms, one of which I coordinated. I had an article posted on the 24-7 Ireland website. I handed in two of my four final assignments, one of which was pretty much entirely written between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

So, I'm a bit behind with my poetry month project. This week's poem is another that I've posted about before:

They say that for years Belfast was backwards
and it's great now to see some progress.
So I guess we can look forward to taking boxes
from the earth. I guess that ambulances
will leave the dying back amidst the rubble
to be explosively healed. Given time,
one hundred thousand particles of glass
will create impossible patterns in the air
before coalescing into the clarity
of a window. Through which, a reassembled head
will look out and admire the shy young man
taking his bomb from the building and driving home.
~ Alan Gillis

This week I've had several conversations about the Troubles with different groups of people. Some who were retelling stories they heard from their parents. Some who grew up in the midst of it all. Some, those who were my age, caught in between the two perspectives.

There was a great program on the BBC this week about the time that Mother Teresa and a few of her Sisters lived in West Belfast. They were there for about 18 months during the height of the troubles, in the early 70s. It's a very different thing to read about horrific things than it is to see them on tv.

Anyway, all of that to say that this poem in some way expresses the kinds of prayers that I've been praying for Belfast. That the Lord would bring healing and set things back to rights again.

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