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.


About Pedalling Poetry

Writer Ellen McAteer is founder of Tell It Slant poetry bookshop in Glasgow, General Manager at Poetry London magazine. She was a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, and 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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