Encounter I met god last night on the 38 and I had always understood that god was omniscient but he had no idea who he was. When I asked him why he placed the stars in their particular patterns, he looked at me the way you might look at someone who’s holding a knife. I wasn’t holding a knife. When I asked him why he permitted war and famine and heartbreak and disease and greed he moved to another seat. When I asked him if my gentle grandmother who smelled like lilacs was really waiting for me in the afterlife he pressed the bell and the bus jolted to a halt. As he shuffled down the aisle and hopped off with a glance behind to be sure I wasn’t following I called after him: That’s me and you finished, god and god looked relieved.
Mary Ford Neal is a writer and academic from the West of Scotland. Her poetry is published widely in magazines and she is the author of two poetry collections: Dawning (Indigo Dreams, 2021) and Relativism (Taproot Press, 2022). Mary is assistant editor of 192 magazine and Nine Pens Press.