A quiet confidence

14 Dec 2020 | Poetry

We sit in a congregation
Lutheran, as it happens,
In Sweden let me say,
Listening to organ music,
The sparkle of Christmas
Lights twinkling
In this bold Stockholm church
And I keep thinking
Is this a real community?

The dark-haired woman in front
Places her hand on her husband’s
Shoulders, a touching gesture
That transcends cultures and countries,
An old lady lights a candle,
A memory of a loved one.
Outside the pavements glisten
With snow.

There is a quiet confidence
About This community,
An ordered world that
Does not shout
Of surprises.
No bin Laden stalks the certainty
It would seem.

But again we do not know,
We cannot be sure. The world
Has twisted on its axis and
We are all prisoners now
-Whether we are Christian or
Communist, Muslim or Jew.

So let me answer the question
Fairly. Yes, this community
Does exist, but it lives on better
In our imagination.

Written 2003