What if the sound of a rushing wind blows you out of the water,
running back to that place you last called home,
fallen now, weeping again by the roadside?

What if the very thought of tongues of flame raises
blisters on the back of your neck, 
raising Cain among your shattered nerves?

What if the advocate is a thin man in a shiny, nylon suit,
with bad breath and bad sucking teeth,
patting you nervously on the knee?

What if you are drunk on new wine
at nine in the morning,
or on old wine from the night before?

Then, she whispers, I will wait just beyond 
the fall of the horizon, until, spent,
you find yourself in the cold, hard light of dawn,
brooding over the empty water.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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5 Responses to Costly

  1. Rosalind, My standard for poetry like this is how I feel when I read Elliot’s Four Quartets. This is getting there. Keep it up.

  2. Karen Dumont says:

    Rosalind, thank you for sharing your gift with us.

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