St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church on Ham St., London
St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church on Ham St., London

It overlooks the village pond
where cattle once drank deep,
rising white it calls to prayer
beneath a bell that summoned;
called children to the school.

Our feet trace theirs through lanes;
up the steps they climbed to class,
we kneel in pews where once desks
laid, before the sacrament.

Old walls evoke their voices
as we kneel in quiet prayer
in a village strung with kindness
in a world of haste and care.

New children raise their voices
to tell of what they’ve learnt,
not repeating tables, poems,
or letters on black slates,
but the life of Christ Our Lord.

Thomas’s image set into a niche
retells his life in wood
a humble Sicilian Dominican
who overhears our fears.

He wrote about the natural world,
look out and see our swans,
advised on debt, war and family
the cares that burned now.

– Carolyn O’Connell

© poem, Carolyn O’Connell; photograph of the church is courtesy of Hugh Venables via Geograph.org.UK under CC A SA 2.0

View guest contributor Carolyn O’Connell’s bio HERE

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