Tuesday, May 05, 2020

I Lift Up My Eyes (Lockdown Psalm ) by Martin Wroe

I Lift Up My Eyes (Lockdown Psalm )

Martin Wroe

I lift up my eyes from this lockdown
Outside, I cover my face
My friends become danger
I become threat
Inside, these walls close in
This safety and this cage
Inside, we’re too close
And, a little distant
Inside, I’m alone, I’m scared
Outside, I step aside from you
Hold my breath as you pass
I lift up my eyes from this lockdown
I thought plagues were the tantrums
Of a petulant god, we no longer believe in
So why can’t I see my parents,
Can’t hold my grandchildren,
Except on this screen
That frees me as it captures me
I lift up my eyes,
They are wet from my tears
Why wouldn’t I break down?
We had our differences but, what I said,
It came out wrong, I have these regrets
My days slip through these dried out fingers
Raw from washing, Wet from tears
I lift up my eyes from this lockdown
From where will my help come
I don’t know if I believe in you
You don’t make it easy,
I don’t have the strength to carry much belief
Is there someone who believes in me,
Who might carry me, hold me
Might be present in ways I never knew
Might be looking toward me,
As I lift up these eyes,
With Faith, with Hope, with Love
Is that too much to ask?
Is that a prayer?
My help comes in a window box
The shy defiance of a yellow daffodil
On a street, the mauve wisteria, showing off
The discreet conversation of the trees
- what must they say about us - 
The dance of every season, the dawn, the dusk
How they carry us
My help comes hidden inside PPE,
From those who heal, protect,
Deliver food, run errands, who call me,
On the phone, across a street,
Can you believe this? How’s your day?
My help comes from those who sit and listen
When I no longer make sense
Who wash me clean, and break a broken blessing over me
Who walk beside us when we die
They neither slumber nor sleep
No wonder they look exhausted
How they carry us
My help comes when I notice those who love me
I hold them tenderly, in all this silence,
The being held, the holding, the weighted joy 
That cradles all the sorrow, all the loss
All this love in all this life
How they carry us
I hold them all, they hold me
Wherever I go, they go with me
At my going out and my coming in
My end and my beginning
From this time forth, for evermore
Even when I cannot catch another breath
Still they breathe my life that I
May breathe easy again
I lift up my eyes and find my help comes
From knowing Love is present
Against the odds, and carries us
I lift up my eyes and see
That Love will keep our lives
From this time forth, for evermore
Thanks to Rev’d Capt Katie Watson at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for talking to me about the life of hospital chaplains and asking if I could write something.