The Church Elder

He is a black crow stalking the raven
congregation in their oiled raincoats.
The women are pigeons in their plain scarves,
but here is one who seems a robin redbreast,

brighteyed and laughing in her flowered blouse.
He passes her, his face a gargoyle
of the others’ sharp-beaked scowls.
In church he raises his eyes to lead the prayer

and notices the roof bosses, budding, dark and intricate.
Much later he wakes shaking from a dream
where he is in the graveyard
gorging himself on wet red berries.

Published in Gutter Magazine 07.

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About Pedalling Poetry

Writer Ellen McAteer is founder of Tell It Slant poetry bookshop in Glasgow, and a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art. She was a mentee of the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme, under Alexander Hutchison, and a singer with the band Stone Tape, as well as a solo singer who won a BBC Radio competition with her song Blue Valentine. She was Director of the Poetry Trust, which ran the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, a director of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, a visiting lecturer at Oxford University's MSt in creative writing, and a member of the core group of performers at the Hammer and Tongue spoken word collective in Oxford. She is a qualified Librarian.
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