Divine Intervention

An atheist. Always an atheist.
Except
Except for the times when I visit the cathedral
Purely because it reminds me of you.
There I bathe in stained glass and plainsong
I close my eyes
And I feel the warmth of your hand on my shoulder
And hear the shuffle of your polished work shoes
On the cathedral floor,
And the crisp rustle of the shirt I ironed the night before.

An atheist. Always an atheist.
Except
Except for that time on the beach
Where I nearly walked out into the waves
Longed for a sinking, echoing, empty, peace
After downing a bottle of vodka
And, with no-one there to stop me,
Somebody did.
A whisper;
There’s more left for you in life than this.

An atheist. Always an atheist.
Except
Except when the sun’s rays catch and set the woods alight
And my daughter turns her curly head and smiles
And the oystercatchers call overhead as I fall asleep
And the town church bells chime on a summer’s evening
And swallows dip and turn, cutting shapes in the blue
And I close my eyes
And wish I had the excuse
To go back to the cathedral
And visit you.

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