Clare Hornsby

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The Baptism

In the sound of my heart
My feet on the wet sand, where horses run
Under dripping trees
Beat around an unwanted park.

Bound in the cloths of memory
Of heat and silence at noon in the deliberate paths
And planned planting of the Italian garden
Watching you, sat in stillness.

In the drama of understanding
Our turned gaze up to the abbey tower
Or over the cool lake at evening
(I lay down behind you, you never knew my happiness, then).

Caught up in a passion marked by struggle
To touch and hold and not be broken
While the slow workday afternoon
Carries itself along without us.

From these images my thought is lifted  
By a violin, loud, in the street.
The baptismal procession makes its way
Musicians escorting the fresh-born soul
In white silk, in his mother’s arms.

Yet that perfect heaven
True and free
Belongs to one being, for one day only.
No matter the trying
No amount of loving
Can take me there.


London, October 2012