Icon of the Year of Mercy – Maud Matley

yearofmercyWho is that up there, striding over the hills
towards our fields
as I muck out the sheepfold?

He’s fair leaping
over those hummocks, those boulders, those streams,
like some young hart.
No crook….no staff.
Whoever it is looks twice the size of a man.
And there’s something odd round his neck:
Some burden, some beast in distress, maybe.
He’s coming closer, getting on to our lands now.

Could it be a man, draped over the strong man’s shoulders?
Looks quite like old Adam from up yonder.
Best I stoke up the fire and plump up the bedding in the hut:
They look like they need a rest.

Oh! It is the Lord!

His hands which are holding that spent old man
draped heavy over his shoulders
are bleeding from deep wounds.

Old Adam’s face is close up to the Lord’s,
Like their two faces were just one with the effort.

Old Adam looks dead beat,
the Lord wrung out, but spry enough
and still with a spring in his stride.

But they both could do with getting home.

The Lord cries out: “We’re thirsty”.

He’ll need more than a hand from me.

Best boil up some water on the fire.


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