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Sunday, April 20, 2014


by Antony Johae

Image source: City-Data

It was Orthodox Easter and the church was full.
The chanting of prayers stretched into the night.
The celebrants sat, then rose to sing
Crossing themselves in three-fold Love.
They awaited the glorious hour of twelve
When Christ would rise in saving Grace
And all would cry that He was risen.

Next to me a man with a phone
placed between us on the pew
he looking down at it constantly
and when his hand stretched out to it
it lit as though at his command,
then out when he withdrew his hand
as though its charge had gone – and slept.

He turned to me when the mass was done,
shook my hand with a friendly grip.
“Emad’s my name, I’m Syrian born.
And you, I think, from London – right?”
I told him I came from Colchester town
but he’d heard only of the Manchester team.
We chatted for a while about this and that
the church emptying as we sat.
Then he made to go. “Your phone,”
I said, it lying silent still.
Aghast at his forgetting
he picked it up and it at once
lit up, he whispering keenly,
“I’m waiting for a call from God.”

Antony Johae is a freelance writer and divides his time between Lebanon and England.