Te Deum


in the screen
that filters
that shelters
from stories
we tell
we once
those catholic
we learned
did hold
the hand
that forgives
flies and other insects
sometimes clung
were they too
when those bells
were rung?
was it mean
there to hang
on wings
on legs
the truth
and fib
what we yearned
and what we learned?
did they fail
before that rail
to raise in buzzing
to praise that missing
Was it no truth
was it only a lie
that separated
the priest
and the fly?

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (Maisonneuve Press, 2003). Read other articles by T.P..