By Rosemary Power
Our God, our help down all the years
Who walks with us through all our fears
Be present with us now.
Remind us we are not at war
with illness but we need remorse
and tears for hope to grow.
We cannot now with guns or drones
Or bombs and bitterness make known
our unease, greed, self-will.
We know of floods, pollution, dearth
of stunted crops on famished earth,
where creatures fall and fail.
Now illness that we cannot see
cannot control, and cannot flee,
may take us, rich or poor.
Before we're ready, those we know,
and those we love, and those we loathe
may lie at heaven's door.
Give us lament, the ancient voice
of courage speaking of the choice
we made to go astray;
help us bewail, and cleanse with grief
the cost of trusting self-belief
and making others pay.
In life, in health, through famine, fear,
in isolation, grief, we find
another walks beside;
who never heeds what's wealth's preserve,
but sees the cost and risk that serves
the needs of humankind.
Rosemary Power is a medievalist and writer whose new book Praying with the Book of Kells will be published by Veritas, Dublin, in 2021.
Rosemary's other work on Foreshadow:
The Lord of Creation in His Mother's Arms (Art, January 2021)
In the Time of Covid-19 (Poetry, March 2021)
The empty day (Poetry, March 2021)