I see the saints everywhere. Not just in church, although their stiff effigies are there, of course, worn smooth under the ridged fingertips of their desperate devotees. They are luminous and magical, but no representation of themselves any more. Father has had a grille put around them, to prevent any further damage, and the congregation has rioted and left. There are soldiers on the road searching for them, and even the queen is begging them to come back, fearful that they will set an example across the land. The queen is making a map of herself and there are areas of empty geography that need filling by her missing subjects whose concentration is elsewhere. She feels mundane without them; she has lost her sparkle. She promises that the grille shall be removed and the saints restored to us, but it is too late. Everyone else has gone, and I, poor toad of a child that I am, left behind to guard the chickens, have learned to find my holy of holies in all the unlikely places – in the hens themselves, in the leaping fish, in the trunk of puppies awaiting new masters. It is miraculous to go alone into the silent church, to see how the ivory shadows of the ghosts fox the old mirrors, reflective no more. It is miraculous – but lonely – to wait in this crinkled gap in time for the cave of the day to open up to the crunch of footsteps as an army of new saints comes marching by.
The copyright of this post belongs to Julia Correvon