Grotto

Place of beauty
Moment of bliss
Birds singing

Sound of the Grotto
In May

I am fifteen
Nearly innocent again
Almost recovered

From breaking down
Still bruised
But breathing

Passing through the gap
From the rocky fields
Of play to churchyard prayer

Entering the gateway
To paradise beneath
A canopy of fresh green

Oasis in the desert
Deep pool where raging
Rapid waters cease

Five stone steps
To ascend
Five mysteries

Joy
Sorrow
Glory

I am on my knees
In unhurried prayer
Making this refuge last

Fending off  the future
As long as I can

"Will you mind me?"
I wonder

On the sixth step
I am Bernadette silently
Looking up to Mary
Looking higher still

The ultimate ascent
That I have yearned for
Since first I left it

But now I must descend again
To the old priest's grave

And run for a further
Wordless glance to Jesus
In the sanctuary

The sound of the ticking
Pendulum clock
Reminding me of an old
Kitchen telling me its time

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