“All war is a deception”
The day was chilly and dark
Low clouds hung over the sun
A low church stood a silent witness
To the raging sea and surf
Past its bent arch, darkness reigned
A candle lit slowly by the priest.
One by one the faces come to light.
Amused bronze. Smiling stone. Unsurprised.
For a time the length of that candle
gesture after gesture revives and dies.
Stance after lost stance is found
and lost again.
Who was that, you ask.
The saviour, the son, the priest replies.
A sceptic candle coughs.
I count the angels on the wall
And mother Mary’s soft tears
As all around the war rages
You come out in the dark sun
And find the children playing the game of death
By Tahera Mannan
For constance’s “The Church by the ocean” contest