top of page

Shakespeare and Company, Paris.

A Norfolk Christmas


My father didn’t believe. Together we looked

over the corner where he’d lie: stark lungs

of winter trees, the blank, no-nonsense altar

of flat fields, and peace, he said. This Christmas,

rabbits eat the roses on my father’s grave

and every blade of grass is clamped by frost.

The Saxon church, so old and emptied-

out its grey bones can’t be still, shudders

echoes as I walk inside. But listen: tonight,

under the dark lid of sky, God is flesh,

and his mother guards him like a lioness.

She won’t sleep now. Her hours of prayer

are upside down: the ineffable, infinite

God tucked into her neck; the bloody world

crouched invisible outside. Here, now,

her flesh is his country; her face is his home.

And from that touch of God’s blood to this earth,

here, still stitched into everything, he is.

The grey stone church burns with cold. Fog rises

from the fields like desert heat or incense.

And the stripped branches above my father’s grave

are a tangle of many waiting crosses.

bottom of page