a poem by PHIL ROBERTSON
A prayer meeting:
twelve, sat in a circle: the suite, a pouffe,
a wicker stool (made at the mental hospital),
dining chairs dragged in from next door.
I was honoured at merely nine: my first
invitation to this relay of intercessions
and invocation. A love fest
of faith and credulity.
The baton of devotion having duly
finished its round, it was time
for the guests to speak.
I’d seen them arrive, watching
from my brother’s bedroom
window. An old, red VW camper
banged up on the curb and a confident
older couple striding to our front door.
They told of their adventures
travelling the country spreading The Word,
bringing The Light to the unsaved.
They survived not by work,
not by government handouts –
but by the kindness of strangers. They had faith
that God would provide, and He did.
Following prayers one morning,
funds shrivelled to nothing, they witnessed
a dishevelled, old woman place
a fat, brown envelope beneath the wipers
of the van and creep away. God
had provided: but she out of her poverty
put in all she had to live on.
And the bare faced audacity
of it all landed like some great vision
into my young lap. And I saw it
before it happened: my father
palming a rare twenty pound note
to the man as they left, and his
praise God of gratitude.
And it came to pass.
© Phil Robertson, 2018
Phil lives and works in his adopted hometown of Bolton, UK. He is the prose editor of Prole.