Over the years, it has all become
so familiar. I painted the walls,
put up the shelves. We chose curtains together
and carpets. Every room has seen
I’ve been unwell here and recovered again.
I’ve read and worked.
I’ve praised and sworn,
known energy and exhaustion and
all states in between.
The food we’ve eaten – oh!
The friends entertained – oh!
The laughs – Ha!
The struggles and disputes – oh! oh!
The hurt, the harm, the forgiveness – Yes!
The offence, grief and reconciliation – Yes!
All this in these walls,
under this roof,
in this space.
I have called it home.
As I prepare to leave, to allow
my body to be relocated for a while,
I try a prayer.
But to whom?
Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head.
Son of Man cannot understand the deep
soul-security of home that I know
I will grieve.
What can the wandering prophet know of the
everyday solidarity of ordinary stuff,
the loved and ignored
twigs of my nest.
So I cast my prayer beyond,
fling it to thou, Abba,
creator of habitat and home,
member of family,
giver of land,
inspiration for all solidarity,
My prayer is raw.
‘I want to stay!
Just let me abide
one more day.
‘Let my eye rest on the faded paint,
the stained carpet,
the accumulated junk, each
object a story, a novel without
a cover, or title, written in my mind.
‘Oh let me stay in my home!
Be rid of my comforters and cajolers.
This is my home! There
is no other.
‘Allow me that loyalty at least. My
memory has gone. I am
empty within. Let me see my past.
Hide from me my future.
‘Lord, let me not know my end.
‘Let me stay!
‘But when I go
abide thou with me.’
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