watching the hours

 

The Nunnery, Iona

 

It is our plainchant

watching of the monastic

hours that is our lifeline

here Sister Columba –

for the time they afford for

praise and recall blesses

us with our glad

remembrances of past

present and abiding future

 

For it was not that we

were running away in

our coming and in our being

here but rather that we

have been possessed of an

absolute holding and an

inbuilt need to be reminded

of the mothering grace

from whence we all came

 

Ah I recall now when we

made our wedding vows

Sister Columba and caught

true and willing in our

cantor’s prayer we were

pink and young and new and

true and you loveliest of

the brides I had ever seen

or have seen since

 

And we were clothed in new

habits clean and girded about

with perfumed leather for our

lifetimes and so we have watched

and chanted and panted the hours

and this familiar plainchant

chants plainly the birth of

our coming and of our being

and of our returning

 

It is our plainchant

watching of the monastic

hours that is our lifeline

here Sister Columba –

Yes: and now the leather

cracked and broken

wedding habits patched and

mended over and over between

countless Magnificats

 

we have remembered

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