Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart Not a Cottingley hoax,
although the photo taken in West Yorkshire too. I think this is really
an angel representation.
Adel Churchyard, Leeds W Yorks.
We tried to see it at Odda’s Chapel.
Was that a wing, a halo, or just damp?
Our epiphany was not forthcoming,
for all our straining interpretation.
We went to St Mary’s adjacent church.
A child on the path pointed out a sign:
‘To the Angel’ – it wasn’t evident.
Then we walked across an apse’s ruins;
squinted upwards; craned our necks.
The elusive angel was always there.
Dumped by my friends, yet again, at the pool-
the same boring view for thirty eight years.
Occasionally some ripples stirred:
phantom movements of an angel?
But, unlike others, I couldn’t move,
so Passover was a pun on my life.
I had a lame excuse for my sad life.
I’d always lost in Life’s lottery pool.
And, when those ripples began to move,
the lucky ones, in former years,
would jump in; try to swim to the angel.
Over The Five Porches, the rock doves stirred.
The others were stir crazy. I never stirred-
until I had the Shabbat of my life.
A man, not in the guise of an angel:
a stranger, wandered round the pool,
looking younger than the thirty eight years
I had lain there. He told me to move.
Surely he could see my wasted limbs? Move?!
Yet the first odd fluttering of hope stirred
my paralysed frame of thirty eight years.
Was this some seraphic Prince of Life type
manifesting himself at a sheep pool?
Why choose me? God knows I am no angel.
Friends had stopped believing in the angel.
They had moved on; but I couldn’t move.
I became their social burden. The pool
a place of mutual respite. I’d be stirred
from sleep; they dressed me- altruism’s life-
long sentence: the same routine for years.
Why did I hang on to life for years,
when anyone could see that the angel
had decreed my miserable life
was not such as would move
any heavenly being to be stirred
to transform me, at home, or at the pool?
For years I helped others move to the pool.
Stirred by gratitude, given back my life,
I never doubted that he’d been the angel.