I offer up this prayer, not so much to God,
as to the banging of saucepans
in a country lane. You wacking so hard
the wooden spoon cracks and a small piece
flies into the road. Last week it was so dark
we could only see the shadow of my neighbour
drumming and it seemed for a moment
there was only her light in the doorway
in the whole of the universe. But this evening
the clocks have moved on despite our paralysis.
The sky holds the last of the dusk,
safe as a promise, and when we pause for breath,
we can still hear the echo of clattering
in the distance, as out there, up the road,
in the village, people are giving thanks.
This thanks carries on beating into the night,
into the towns and the cities and the hospitals
where the heart of all that we are is working
endless, unprotected shifts to save all of us
who are not yet ready to say goodbye.