Encounter – a poem by Yvonne Baker


I’m there when the young man  
says there’s nothing to fear.
The point when the day turns and is restored,

when Mary of Magdala reaches towards Christ, 
who drifts between earth and air, 
the nail marks on his feet like flowers.
But even as she clings to this moment of safety,
she hears Do not hold on to me. 

And the feeling of relief  
slipping like prayer beads through my fingers,   
snag on the words that follow — 
We’ll need more tests. 
I leave you in the oncology ward 
to walk into an uncertain afternoon 
that leans towards hope.  

Yvonne Baker has been published widely in magazines. Her work has been included in Second Light, Paper Swans, Emma Press and Poetry Space anthologies. 

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