Mary Anne Clark
When I was small and desperate for sainthood
I walked backwards down streets for a year.
Dully inconvenient, but not without peril.
Streets and saints: straits between place and place,
chaining hand to hand, to hand us on to somewhere.
Thinking of the old warriors who contorted
and were contorted for a cause, the old worriers
who couldn’t let it go, I couldn’t let it.
I linked my antics to God. It’s fair to say
that I was coming at things from the wrong angle.
It didn’t last because real saints, I think,
like streets, see where they need to go and go there.
MARY ANNE CLARK’s poems have appeared in Oxford Poetry, The Scores, Stand Magazine, and several Emma Press anthologies. Prizes include the Newdigate (2016) and second place in the Manchester Cathedral Poetry Competition (2018).