You stand steady,

habit darker than branches,

plimsoled feet planted,

eyes shut as though waiting

for rain.

             Rain to patter dead nerves,

delineate ghost fingers prickling

shapes, to sluice

the surface of us

                            let us know

form as you know yourself

in the drenching

of God’s gaze.

                        In Mutemwa

you wait in a psalm,

like a hallway,

in a prayer that coats us

like oil, heals us

where we’re torn—

all our histories in pieces,

and your life:

                     nothing is whole,

but the long-gone

movement of your hands,

and your prayer

that still comes,

like a longed-for torrent

busting loose

honey from acacia’s burnt


            you in your

stillness, bursting

with the longrooted lines,

the intractable flight,

of a prophecy.

Sally Read, July 2021