Never in any church have I seen you;
never on windows or on squat misericords or carved
even in the dimmest cobwebbed corner of a crypt;
and if I did, you would only be hanging;
or clutching your silver ransom, or offering
that treacherous kiss. They never have anything good
to say of you, and who can blame them?
Heretics are worse than unbelievers
in the eyes of the betrayed.
Still, I wonder how you would look, how they might
portray you — whether the beard would be swarthy,
the eyes shifty, aslant —
because there is a roundel here of Christ in Hell,
embracing a man waist-deep in fiery glass
whose medieval face turns up as if in shock.
The features of both are gone; scrubbed by history
to a blaze of sunlight, as if that moment
transcended all colour, all the
glazier’s power to create.
Perhaps it is something in the kiss that makes me
wonder if they meant it to be you.
(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)